Holograms have appeared in nearly every sci-fi film and television shows released in the previous 50 years. A lifelike 3D image made of nothing but the light that is mostly hanging above a table. Following several people who failed to create the technology, a firm named Light Field Lab has begun production on a technique called SolidLight, which is meant to create real-life holograms. The promise is essentially the holodeck from Star Trek, sans the tactility of the murderous Moriartys (hopefully). This is how it works.
Holograms have appeared in nearly every sci-fi film and television shows released in the previous 50 years. A lifelike 3D entity made of nothing but the light that is frequently hanging above a table or interacting with our heroes yells, This is the present.
Following several unsuccessful attempts of the technology, a company named Light Field Lab has started creating a technique called SolidLight, which is meant to create real-life holograms. The promise is mostly to create the holodeck from Star Trek, sans the tactility of the murderous Moriartys (hopefully). This is how it works.
You may be thinking it’s not a big deal, as you might have seen holograms for years. That’s a yes and no. Most of the visual effects called “holograms” are not actually true. For example, on the Haunted Mansion ride at a Disney park, there are dancing ghosts which are neither actual ghosts nor holograms. They use a trick known as “Pepper’s ghost,” which was from the 1800s. Tupac Amaru Shakur was live on stage 16 years after his death using the same trick.
The spinning LED image generators were popular at CES a few years back. 3D displays virtual reality, and augmented reality all look like holograms but actually, they are not.
The SolidLight technology developed by Light Field Lab looks more like something which is taken from a science fiction novel. The company’s goal is to use light to re-create items in the actual world, much like a sci-fi holodeck. The technique behind this work is very simple. The idea is simple but not the implementation.
The technique is to focus the waves of light at a single point, so that is also visible to our sight. By repeating this technique many times, it can create a whole thing that is made of light.
They have 2.5 billion pixels on their 28-inch diagonal display. In comparison, a 4K TV has 8.2 million pixels. They create holographic walls made up of these smaller panels, which are around 245 billion pixels.
The pixels are more complex than the tv screen. They can change the phase of light waves which helps in creating a hologram. A normal LCD or OLED pixels only need Red, Green, and Blue pixels. But for a hologram, the solid light pixels require particular colors to be in an accurate location before the display to create a picture that appears to be coming out of the screen.
What makes SolidLight unique is that it does not require any special glasses to see, nor does it require you to be right in front of the screen. You can be at any place, and the hologram will be seen in any field of view where you can see the solid light display.