The technology to create and project holograms may not have been at the Star Trek level to restore entire rooms, but it was ready for a while. It has been almost 50 years since the Hungarian-British physicist Dennis Gabor won the Nobel Prize for the discovery of the hologram, yet despite the promise of science fiction, 2020 we have a distinct lack of holograms around us. Nearly a decade ago, MIT researchers demonstrated that holographic televisions could become a reality using ordinary off-the-shelf electronics. They used Microsoft’s Xbox Connect camera to produce holographic video transmissions at 15-frames-per-second.
To produce a hologram, you need to know what it is like to have light, in most cases laser beams, bounce around an object and combine the recording with the original beam. The final result is a virtual image that you can view from multiple angles. Using isolation, it is possible to record and reproduce a 3D image that features deep objects, parallax, and many more of the original object.
In the meantime, holographic screens have been used for advertising and long-distance communication. A famous example is Prince Charles speaking at the World Future Energy Conference in Abu Dhabi through Hologram.
In a controversial move, Michael Jackson and Tupac Shakur reconstituted their views on virtual performance after their deaths. Talking about bringing the dead back to “life”, reality TV personality Kim Kardashian was recently gifted a holograph by her next father for her 40th birthday. In the 2010s, holograms were used in virtual discourses, but some of the most well-known examples are in music.
The patent for the Tupac hologram-making technology was purchased by entrepreneur David Nussbaum, who founded the PORTL hologram. The technology was used by Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in a project to stay outside the Ecuadorian embassy for several years. Many online mocked this kind of gift, but its impact on social media is significant, so holograms can start pop-ups in more places.
A holographic screen from PORTL is the size of a telephone box that can create a holographic image using a regular camera with a white background. This screen is priced at $ 60,000, so it’s not ready for mass distribution yet but it has potential.
It is less than 10 centimeters (3.9 inches) thinner than larger cases. It’s certainly not portable yet, but it’s a step up for technology. Researchers have recently shaken the brain with a new kind of thin display for holograms. In a year where a deadly epidemic forced the removal of meetings and conferences in our virtual world, holograms could be the next big step in making this type of communication more interactive.