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These researchers can generate real holograms!

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Very often, researchers behind technological innovations are fans of Science-Fiction. Some even make it a point of honor to realize the visions of writers and other filmmakers. Recently, researchers in the United States have developed a holographic screen similar to the one displaying Princess Leia in Star Wars. They were thus able to reproduce in holograms mythical scenes from Star Trek or Star Wars.

Particles absorbing light to create holograms

Holograms that can be animated while admiring from all angles, a scientific duo from Brigham Young University (USA) did it! In a statement on May 4, 2021, Daniel Smalley, one of the two researchers, said: “What you see in the scenes we create is very real. There is nothing computer generated. Our lightsabers are real. You can watch them from any angle. You will always see them existing in space. ”

Three years ago, these same scientists unveiled a system capable of drawing objects floating in the air. It was a almost invisible laser beam which moved very fast in order to generate visual persistence. Color diodes were then responsible for illuminating this or these particles in order to obtain an image visible from all angles. This technology called Optical Trap Display (OTD) for optical trap display does not involve any electrical force, but rather thermal, acting on the light absorbing particles.

Credit: Brigham Young University / YouTube capture

New immersive experiences to come

If the researchers mentioned lightsabers, this is no coincidence. Indeed, they have among others reproduces some mythical scenes science fiction, including the lightsaber battle between Obi-Wan and Darth Vader (Star Wars). There are also exchanges of miniature explosions between the Enterprise and the Klingon Bird-of-Prey (Star Trek). According to project researchers, this innovation offers the possibility of new immersive experiences. It would then be possible to interact with holographic virtual objects coexisting with humans in the same space. Let us remember that it is indeed a question of physical images and not of mirages.

If this technology is one day democratized among the general public, everyone will then be able to generate animated content circling or crawling around a physical object. Currently, researchers are continuing their research to improve this technology. It must be said that the holograms in question are still tiny. The objective is now to obtain more imposing ones. Finally, they continue to learn new optical tricks by varying the movements of perspective and parallax.



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