3D Hologram Technology - What is It, Use Cases, and Future

If there’s one thing that’s ever-changing, it's technology. Every single day new innovations are happening in the market. With each passing day, we have new ways to explore the world around us. One particular technology that’s going to be everywhere in the future is 3D hologram technology. 


Pick any sci-fi movie about a dystopian future, you’ll see 3D holograms flying in the air. Companies choose to promote their products and services using 3D holograms. In this article, we will be exploring everything related to 3D holographic experiences, technology, use cases, and its future.


What Are 3D Holographic Solutions?


Anyone who’s seen a sci-fi movie about the future has a basic understanding of what 3D holograms are. But to clarify, Holograms is a photography technique that records the light scattered from an object, and then presents it as a 3-dimensional object. 


Alongside every type of technology, 3D holograms have evolved significantly. Over the years, Holograms have appeared in various shapes and sizes. Here are some examples:


  • Transmission Holograms - These allow light to be shined through them and the users could see the image from the side.
  • Rainbow Holograms: Used on credit cards and driver’s licenses for increased security.


Hologram technology has been around since 1962. The development of 3D hologram technology started when Yuri Denisyuk of the Soviet Union, and Emmet Leith and Juris Upatnieks, at the University of Michigan, built innovative laser programs. These programs were able to record objects in 3D. They recorded on silver halide photogenic emulsions at the time, but the clarity wasn’t ideal. Fortunately, that has changed with improved technology, and new businesses out there rely on all kinds of 3D holographic experiences. 


Are Holograms Real?


Holograms are very real, most people don’t know it but they interact with holograms on a daily basis. Almost all the driver’s licenses include Holograms, including ID cards and credit cards. You can even find holograms throughout your house. Holograms come as part of CD, DVD, Blu-Ray, and software packages.


But these are security holograms, they aren’t nearly as impressive as 3D holograms. All they do is change shape or color when tilted. 


The large-scale 3D holograms are a really impressive thing. They operate with lights and lasers in a dark room with carefully placed hardware. In simple words, 3D holograms are shown on 2-dimensional surfaces. Instead of watching a flat image, you get access to an image with depth. 3D holographic solutions make it possible for you to experience real objects and places without the need for 3D glasses or VR glasses. 


Several businesses have built their brands upon providing 3D holographic experiences like virtual tourism, arcade gaming, and so much more. 


How do Holograms Work?


To make a hologram, you need to scan a person or an object using photogrammetry or lidar scanning and apply the information to a recording device that will clean and clarify the image. The scanning laser beam is split into two and redirected with mirrors. One of those beams is directed at the object, and a portion of the light reflects off the object and is recorded on the medium. 


The second beam (reference beam) is directed towards the recording medium. This is how the beams coordinate to create a clear and concise hologram for the object or the person. 


Later on, both the beams interact and interfere with each other. The interference pattern is imprinted on the recording medium to recreate the 3D image. 


Understanding 3D Holograms - 3D Holographic Experiences


3D holograms have suddenly become a sensation around the globe. 3D holographic experiences make you experience products, places, or people that aren’t really there. Holograms look like they’re either standing near you or floating mid-air. If utilized well, this technology can revolutionize several industries at the same time. 


Several huge brands have their own set of 3D hologram technology. Microsoft has its HoloLens headsets, Apple uses ARKit, and Google presents holograms in ARCore. Tech is slowly becoming a growing trend in the tech market, and several tech companies are racing toward the top. 


3D holograms are the next step in humanizing digital content sharing. The applications of 3D holographic solutions are endless. 3D hologram technology can showcase a car in a room like it's really there. Or you can go on a virtual walk-through, and visit places all around the world with interactive holograms. Moreover, you can project yourself in the form of a 3D hologram from thousands of miles away. 


3D holograms can easily improve training, design, and visualization for businesses, schools, colleges, and other facilities. You’ll be able to “look at, zoom in on holograms, interact and manipulate 3D versions of in-progress designs or final designs.”


Businesses that wish to improve their overall marketing experiences can use 3D holograms and dazzle their customers with a digital product catalog. With technologies like Hologram tables, holographic walls, holographic rooms, stages, and more, businesses can expand into several avenues. 


Holographic imagery will also soon come to windshields everywhere. One of the current examples was demonstrated at CES by a company named WayRay, which is Navion. While most technology lovers are waiting for 3D hologram displays for smartphones that project the hologram on or above the surface of the display. Samsung and LG have been trying to bring 3D holographic solutions to smartphones, but that technology feels years away. 


Holograms in the Future


Normal people all over the world are fascinated by holographic technology and what it can bring to the table in the future. However, holograms are soon to be a huge part of the world. According to some reports, after 2022, display holograms will easily be worth $8 billion. Here are some of the ways holograms are used currently:


1. Military Mapping


Geographic intelligence is crucial for building military strategies. Fully dimensional holographic images are being used for improved reconnaissance missions. With the help of technologies like 3D hologram table and rooms, soldiers can view 3D terrain, look “around” corners, and train for missions. 


3D hologram companies turn computerized image data into a holographic sheet. Not only can users “look into” the high-end 3D images of the terrain stored in holograms, but they can also interact with the 3D hologram sheets. The 3D holographic maps of terrains can also be useful in the event of a disaster evacuation and military rescue scenarios.


2. Information Storage


Humans generate huge amounts of data every single day, and digital storage capacity increases every single year. Our personal computers store hundreds of gigs of information, which often include photos, videos, software, and documents. If you lose all that data, the losses can be huge.


Holograms can be used for data storage purposes as well. They don’t just have to record and present a visual object, holograms can record pure data. Holograms can easily store huge amounts of data with ease. The current prototype systems can store 4.4m individual pages of information on a DVD-like disc. Holograms also offer unique long-term security. 


If you can make an optical hologram of a page of information, and then smash it, you can still reconstruct data from the pieces. This makes holographic data storage extremely simple and reliable. Unlike physical storage devices which can get corrupted and data can be lost. Holograms can store data in 3 dimensions and those pages can overlap when it comes to storage space. 


3. Medical


Industry experts believe that holograms can transform the medical industry. They can be used as a tool for visualizing patient data during student training and surgeries. 


Current imaging systems like Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and ultrasound end up generating complex data using advanced imaging technology. This technology has the capability to produce full-color, computer-generated 3D holograms.


Using 3D images for training and other purposes doesn’t require viewing glasses or 3D devices. Students and doctors can simply “look” at the 3D images without needing any of the other devices. These images can include incredibly complex organs and systems of the body, like the brain, heart, livers, nerves, and muscles. 


4. Fraud and Security


As holograms are complicated to create, this makes them an incredible advantage when it comes to commercial security. If you have a credit card, then you have a hologram. The tiny silver rectangle on your credit card is a white light, mirror-backed, transmission hologram. It displays a 3D image that is visible as you move the card from side to side, and it also changes color as you move the card up and down. It’s incredibly challenging to forge these holograms. 


Some banks are also starting to add holograms to improve security. In the UK, the newest £5 banknote has an image of Big Ben and uses holography to produce a set of changing colors when you tilt the note. There’s also a 3D image of the coronation crown that appears floating above when you tilt the note.


5. Arts


While it makes sense that artists of all kinds would want to explore holograms as soon as they became famous. Today, there are artists all over the globe using 3D holograms to bend, and cut space, combine a collection of still images or videos to build animated 3D works, and make sculptures out of light. 


Just recently, an exhibition in central London presented a show of creative holography. International groups of selected artists contributed work to an exhibition on Governors Island, New York, and artists from Canada. 


Conclusion - Future of 3D Hologram Technology


Holograms were something out of science fiction movies, and novels. However, the practical uses of holographic technology have eclipsed the film industry and become a commonplace feature in our everyday lives. 


It’s just the beginning of the peak of the usefulness of hologram technology. As innovators and developers continue to improve the technology, the use cases of holograms will keep on growing. 

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