Step aside, 3D HDTVs with your expensive “shutter glasses”-A new breakthroughs in holographic 3D technology mean that we could see real, glasses free 3D TV in the next year.
Previously, the only thing (okay, one of the only things) that was stopping us from sending Princess Leia type messages across the universe in an R2D-2 was the fact that we couldn’t make holograms with refresh rates quick enough to convey movement. Well, that’s changed- a research team at the University of Arizona has developed a system that can render an image in near real-time and update the image every 2 seconds, which is pretty darn close to real time.
In the year of 2008, the same team presented an updateable holographic 3D display that was capable of recording & displaying images every few minutes. The screen display could then last for several hours without needing to berefreshed, but it was sensitive to ambient noise (vibration & air turbulance), as well as thermal expansion, and so needed to be fully enclosed on an air damped optical table.
New technology features a quicker refresh rate (2 seconds) and thus no longer needs to last for several hours without refresh.
In order to create this quickly refreshing holograph, the team uses Sixteen regular cameras to focus on a single object. The images are then sent, via Ethernet, to a computer, which reconstructs them into a 3D holographic image. The computer sends this information to a 50Hz nanosecond pulsed laser, which shoots holographic pixels called hotels onto a plastic screen. The screen reacts to the laser and stores the image.
If you’re wondering what’s changed since 2008 why this new technology can now refresh at a much quicker rate it’s a combination of the laser (which is now much quicker, with pulses in the nanosecond range), and the new screen (which is optimized for sensitive exposure, instead of durability).
So what does this mean for 3D-I mean, holographic- -TV of the future?
Well, according to the researchers: these new, quick refresh rates mean that soon technology will be good enough to develop 3D holographic TVs for the consumer market, probably in the next years.