December 31, 2014
Since they first appeared in science fiction decades ago, engineers have long played with the idea of holograms. The technology required has only been theoretical up until recently. Now, some of the last barriers to functional holograms are finally being overcome. New types of displays, methods of capturing transmitting 3D data, and increased Internet speeds have all contributed to research teams across the globe making big developments in the field of holograms.
There are many competing designs, but no one has yet brought anything to market. The latest mind-blowing prototype comes from Bristol University and utilizes ultrasound technology to create a holographic object (in this case, a sphere) with haptic feedback the user can actually feel and manipulate.
Other recent prototypes have included holographic displays for mobile and 3D levitation via acoustic waves. An infographic from WhichVoIP shows several of these technologies (many of which seem to be inspired by Star Wars).
While widespread adoption and application of the technology is still some years off, we may be getting an early glimpse of holograms as consumer products by year’s end. Initial prices could be in the high end, but as recent tech trends have thought us, it might only be a year or two before holograms are commonplace in displays and devices, increasing interactivity and entertainment. Two dimensional viewing may soon become obsolete.
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