The Pace of Creating Realism in Entertainment Using Digital Holography

Getting entertained in an aesthetically appealing manner is what makes digital holography fun. As more and more entertainment alternatives are leaning towards incorporating digital holography, entertainment seems to be pacing towards a more digital nature.

The past three years contributed to the advancement of wider applications of the digital holograph. Applications in the entertainment industry, visual learning, the healthcare sector, architecture, engineering, marketing, advertising, digital tourism — the list is quite long. 

Holograms are artificial three-dimensional pictures made by the interference of light beams reflecting actual physical things in the real world. They are known to work effectively for demonstrating both aesthetically appealing items and difficult technological principles.


How Do Holograms Work? 

In essence, digital holography is a hologram recorded with a digital image sensor. Holograms provide a superb representation of the three-dimensional world we live in. Unlike a photograph, a hologram encodes each light wave’s brightness and phase. This combination produces a more accurate representation of the depth and parallax of a scene. However, despite their realistic representation, creating and disseminating holograms is difficult. 

Holography is a distinctive form of photography in which three-dimensional objects are captured using laser and then subjected to reconstruction in order to match the original recording. Holograms can create a precise 3D copy of an item and replicate its characteristics when hit by a laser. Fundamentally, two light waves must be synchronized in motion to accurately visualize a hologram at a particular location in space. The two waves are the object wave, which is reflected from the recorded object, and the reference wave, which is directly produced by the light source. 


The Evolution of Holograph Technology 

Early holograms were optical recordings that were first created in the mid-20th century. A laser beam was subjected to be split into two, where one half was used to illuminate the object and the other served as a reference for the phase of the light waves. However, the generated images were entirely static. 

The contemporary hologram hypothesis was created in 1947 by Hungarian-British scientist Dennis Gabor. However, it wasn’t until the invention of the laser in the 1960s that optical holography truly advanced which led to open doors to an even wider range of additional holographic technology uses. 

Fast forward to 2012. Digital Domain studio, with the intention of bringing the legacies of historical figures, brought Tupac Shakur back to life as an exceptional 3D hologram. By then, Tupac appeared as a life-like digital avatar. Even better, in 2014, Tupac reappeared at a Coachella event in his digital human form. 

In 2015, HoloLens spectacles were introduced by Microsoft.  HoloLens is the most prevalent and recognized example of a prototypical hologram. Microsoft HoloLens has since played an extensive role in augmented reality and content production. 

Even though digital holograph technology has advanced significantly in the past recent years, its process is still considered complex. In addition, life-like accuracy in the modeling of layers of images is what was missing in contemporary techniques. 

In 2021, MIT News announced that researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) achieved a breakthrough that has enabled holographic technology to incorporate deep learning that allows real-time hologram production. According to the researchers, the computer can be trained to create holographic images. Moreover, just like any other deep learning applications, the research team utilized convolutional neural networks in order to approximately imitate how people interpret visual data. 

This breakthrough is expected to help immerse Virtual Reality (VR) viewers in more realistic sceneries while eliminating eye fatigue and other negative impacts of prolonged use. Furthermore, volumetric 3D printing technology is also expected to benefit from the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered three-dimensional holography since it enables the simultaneous projection of the full 3D patterns. Therefore, it is expected to offer faster and more accurate work than conventional layer-by-layer 3D printing. 


The Future of Holograph Technology 

According to the reports of Allied Market Research, the global holographic display market size was valued at $1.13 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach $11.65 billion by 2030, registering a Compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 29.1 percent from 2021 to 2030. 

The future of holography, as more and more AI applications are incorporated, will have a wider range of applications. Apart from that, holographic technology is expected to advance in terms of availability and portability. Therefore, wide-scale holographic movies, holographic plays, holographic artists from old times, and holographic music performances will be popular streaming on media. 

As global computing capacity continues to rise, the development of digital human models will rise at an ever-increasing rate and it’s expected to become increasingly impossible to distinguish from actual humans. Apart from that, as holograph technology integrates more with other emersion technologies like Augmented Reality (AR), there would be no requirement for wearing glasses. Instead, augmented reality will be embedded right into objects. 



Photo: sdecoret/Shutterstock


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