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MIT Develops Holographs Using Off-the-Shelf Tech

Hollywood might be in love with 3D, but I’m really not. Maybe it’s because I wear glasses (making the additional 3D glasses cumbersome) or maybe it’s because I already find movie tickets to be plenty expensive, but I have no interest in 3D flicks. The MIT Media Lab may solve my problem by making 3D the technology of the past.

Using one of the new Kinect cameras, the MIT team was able to capture three dimensional images to be reproduced as holograms at around 7 fps. Within a month the team had more than doubled the frame rate to 15 fps, and the team is certain they’ll be able to reach the 24 fps of films or even the 30 fps of TV. Along with the Kinect, the team is mainly using items anyone could purchase from a store.

It might not look like much yet, but this is the current level of holographic display possible with MIT's system. Courtesy of MIT.

“Really, the focus of our work in digital holography — and I think this makes us pretty much unique among the very small community of people in the world even doing holovideo — is that we’re trying to make a consumer product,” said Michael Bove, leader of the Object-Based Media Group. “So we’ve been saying, ‘How do you make it as cheap as possible — take advantage of hardware and standards and software and everything else that already exists?’ Because that’s the quickest way to bring it to market.”

The only part of the system that isn’t available off-the-shelf is the holographic display responsible for generating images. The display is the product of decades of research, beginning in the late 1980s. The current display is the mark II version, but the team is developing a new display device that is more compact, can create larger images and should be less expensive to produce. Who knows, maybe the tech will be ready for Fast and Furious 10.

Below you’ll find a short video about MIT’s work.

Source: MIT News

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