Holography is a technique which enables three-dimensional images to be made. It involves the use of a laser, interference, diffraction, light integrity recording and suitable illumination of the recording. The image changes as the position and orientation of the viewing system changes in exactly the same way as if the object were still present, thus making the image appear 3-D. Holography, as a kind of novel and fantastic technology, always provide people profound visual impact. Great holographic designs could sustain much more shocking experiences by installation of virtual reality environment.
Static 2-D holographic technologies are quite mature that we may found such holographic pictures so common in our life. For instance, some giant holographic pictures can be found hanging in the air at the metro station of Rippone in Lausanne. Statice hologram technologies are also widely used as secure measures to prevent forgeries. By the contrast, dynamic holographic technologies are still under development.
There is an outstanding example of holographic applications that took place in Beijing at 13.04.2011 on Burberry runway show.
Limited to the technical problems, this runway show is different from traditional T-show for the whole place was decorated as a cinema. The most innovative idea in this show could be seen at time point of 13m30s. In order to provide both side of the designs, they projected two identical model visual images walking oppositely to show the both side of the designs with brilliant animations when two images “hit” each other. In the provided dark environment, it is quite difficult to distinguish real models and visual images which could achieve interactions between viruality and reality.
There is another video clip of a concert not for any “real” bands or stars but an animated figure referred as 初音ミク (Hatsune miku) in Japan.
According to the technical analysis that can be found on the Internet, this concert is supported by Sax 3D Co., Ltd with their HoloPro™ technology, which utilize specified transparent screen to reflect the laser beams that contains images to the audiences’ eyes. A similar demo can be found here as well.
This technology, however, cannot be categorized as hologram specifically for it only reflects images for certain directions as common screens do, but the transparent screen provide many possibilities to apply images and videos on any kind of real contents.
Furthermore, there are some geeks posting their hand-made holographic Miku dancing visual images in 3-D on Internet just using laptop screen shield and a smart phone.
(I am sorry that this video is Chinese but I did not find a corresponding English version but a video similar can be found which gives details how to set up a simple demo at home.)
Although there is no technological improvements in this demo than the previous 2-D one but only project four different images on each directions, the dancing Miku can be view from four directions which becomes more interesting.
By the way, the voice you heard from Miku is composite by computer as well.
Some other really large-scale visual projection examples can be found on Internet that they project videos on the buildings.
However, these kind examples are not hologram neither but fully used the darkness of nights and project the images on the building as a black background.
Even CNN use hologram technologies reporting the US election campaign just months ago.
A real technological innovation is contributed by Microsoft Research Cambridge.
In this video, we can see that the researchers take advantage of two mirrors to make the beams converge above, which seems as the image floating in mid-air, and they use spinning to create a 3-D images below the mirror.
In institute of creative technologies of USC, this webpage offered details on how to use spinning to render for 360º light field display
The researchers in MS Cambridge improves the interactive way on introducing body sensors to detect human interactions to control how the 3-D images below act instead wired control.
A holographic TV prototype has been developed according this video provided by BBC which also explained well on the holography principles.
Yet it is still difficult to have any information about applying holographic technologies on museum exhibitions, especially in interactive ways. Most holographic technologies are still remain in labs and technology companies. Some museums have introduced holographic modeling to provide visitors virtual images behind glass shield instead of traditional concrete models. The MIT museum definitely steps forward than others which is currently holding an exhibition until September 2013 of “The Jeweled Net: Views of Contemporary Holography” in conjunction with the 9th International Symposium on Display Holography, held in June 2012.