MIT Researchers Close in on Holographic TV

Researchers at the MIT revealed this week just how close they are to building a commercially viable holographic TV – their model has a refresh rate of 15 frames per second.  That’s only a hair’s breadth away from the 30 fps of standard television and film.  Not only is it many times faster than last year’s heralded breakthrough by the rival team at the University of Arizona, but the MIT’s moving holographic video was recorded using not 16 cameras, but a single one – in fact, the xBox Kinect camera!  This breakthrough was predicted several months ago on this site

The recorded image still has to be viewed via an expensive holographic display, but the team say they are working on creating one that would be within the budget of the general public.

Japan’s Holographic Bid for World Cup 2022 Fails

Japan has failed in its bid to land the hosting rights of the 2022 world cup and to beam live matches around the world in the form of 3D holograms.

The following video makes clear that Japan expects not only holographic football matches to be broadcast in stadiums but also via holographic tvs in the home (watch at the 2:00 mark).

Professor Nasser Peyghambarian, who led the recent breakthough in creating holographic tv, has said that he thinks Japan’s idea of a holographic world cup in 2022 was very realistic, although he wondered if the technology would be cheap enough to be in everybody’s homes by that date.

Hacked Kinect Allows for Homemade Holograms

The same week it was launched and the much heralded leap forward in home entertainment – microsoft kinect – has been hacked. But what’s most interesting, for those of us concerned with the future of holographic tv, is the fact that it demonstrates how easily homemade holographic recording will eventually become.

The Kinect camera creates a 3D ‘depth map’ of whatever it is viewing. In the context of the Kinect motion sensing system, this allows it to create a 3D image of the game player, for example, understanding how much forward the player’s hand is from his chest etc. Now a hacker, working from his basement, has managed to create rotatable 3D images from a kinect camera. To make these fully 360 and accurate, all that is seemingly required is ONE MORE kinect camera, placed behind the subject.

To understand why this is important, consider that the recent breakthrough in live hologram transmission by the team at the university of Arizona requires no less than 18 cameras to record its subject. Such requirements would put the possibility of personal holographic webcaming, homemade holographic films etc out of the reach of all but professionals with massively expensive kits. However, if all you need is two kinect webcams recording from front and back, it would suggest that holographic webcams will be in homes immediately that holographic tvs are. Given the University of Arizona’s timeframe, that could be only 7 years away.

Demonstration of Japanese Holographic TV

Japan is fully committed to creating holographic tv by 2016.  In fact, holographic tv technology is the mainpiece of its bid to host the soccer world cup in 2022.  According the their plans, if they get to host the world cup, fans across the world will be able to watch the matches as if they were there, in stadiums in their own cities which will show life size holographic replicas of the games beamed live from Japan.

The video below is a promotional video for Japan’s world cup bid.  It doesn’t feature a real demonstration of any prototype, but it does allow the first glimpse of how holographic tv will look.

Holographic TV by 2017

A stunning leap forward in hologram technology means that holographic tvs in every home could become a reality by the year 2017.

A research team at the University of Arizona have raced forward with their previous groundbreaking work in producing holograms that can be refreshed with a different image.  Two years ago, their best refresh rate was 4 minutes, which was still a stunning breakthough at the time.  But this week, they announced that their technology is now capabable of refreshing 3D holographic images once every 2 seconds, only a few more steps from the rate of 30 frames (refreshes) per second needed for holographic tv.