Holograms have been around for quite a few years. However, they still haven’t really caught on with the general public. That may soon change.
Holograms have something futuristic about them. Already in science fiction movies from decades ago we saw them popping up. Think of Star Wars, for example. Nevertheless, we don’t see them much in real life. Yet that may well change.
Holograms in this day and age
In recent years, holograms seem to have become more and more common. Perhaps the most famous example is ABBA’s concert series in London. Not the band itself, but holograms put on the show. Now there is even a special hologram zoo in Australia. Instead of a real garden, it is simply housed in a kind of factory shed.
It doesn’t seem interesting at first, yet people know how to find their way to the zoo. The animals are life-size and also get heart-stoppingly close. This is done by means of a laser projector with special crystals. These ensure, with the help of special sunglasses worn by guests, that light fields are separated from each other. To do this, however, the device must know where everyone is in a room so that it can be shown to size.
Bruce Dell, founder of the company that makes the holograms tells BBC that it was mainly the price of the technology that held back a real revolution. However, new techniques have made it considerably cheaper. This makes it more interesting to apply and so things like digital zoos can be made.
Star Wars in the future
In the past, he said, holograms needed a lot of computing power. Now it can be simply controlled by a computer. In addition, the technology has also changed. The team is experimenting with small meta-surfaces that are only a few millimeters in size. This makes it much easier to manipulate light waves. The idea is even to make the technique even smaller and place it on a portable device.
These meta-surfaces are not only useful for holograms. They could even turn glasses into night vision goggles. Especially in healthcare, this technique is ideal. Think of surgeons who can use it to work even more precisely.
In the future, scientists hope that the technique will also come to mobile devices. This will allow you to make video calls while seeing the person’s hologram. We almost imagine ourselves in Star Wars. But first come the larger holograms you may know from cyberpunk movies, like spinning pizzas and hamburgers in fast food restaurants.
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