More than 30 years after the famous Star Wars movie scene in which a hologram of Princess Leia appealed for help from Obi-Wan Kenobi, US researchers have unveiled holographic technology to transmit and view moving three-dimensional images.
The scientists at the University of Arizona say their prototype “holographic three-dimensional telepresence” is the world’s first practical 3D transmission system that works without requiring viewers to wear special glasses or other devices. The research is published in the journal Nature.
Potential applications range from telemedicine and teleconferencing to mass entertainment.
“Holographic telepresence means we can record a three-dimensional image in one location and show it in another location, in real-time, anywhere in the world,” said Nasser Peyghambarian, project leader.
Existing 3D projection systems produce either static holograms with excellent depth and resolution but no movement – or stereoscopic films, such as Avatar, which give the perspective from one viewpoint only and do not allow the viewer to walk around the image. The new technology combines motion with an impression of genuine solidity.