Sunday, September 19, 2010

Holographs instead of Screens?

We are slaves to screens. Would you like to do away with your screen and use your room as a screen??
In most pieces of electronics screens are the most expensive component.  Yet without them most of our devices would be useless.  They are our portal into this new world of  cyberspace.  Of course most people may use the term cyberspace but not really know how to define it.  What is cyberspace?  The best definition I can think of is this: Cyberspace is the created non-physical space where someone encounters another person or interacts with a computer of some sort.

But there are great problems with screens.  They greatly limit the experience of the user in cyberspace at the very moment they open a portal to it.  First the larger the screen, the more the users experience changes.  Some think that the larger the better the experience but this is clearly not so.  Well known rules of perspective are understood as to how far away you stand from a screen depending on its size.  No matter how you consider them screens still are vastly inferior to the real experience of seeing things in real life.  Yes of course in real life there is the ambient sound, the smell of things, the feel of a breeze perhaps, but all of this misses something else.  In cyberspace, we still live in a two dimensional space due to the limitations or our viewing portal.  There is the latest approach to get us out of this limitation with traditional screens with 3D TV or movies where you wear special glasses that trick your mind into seeing stereoscopically.  But with these, we are still limited to the size of a viewing area which gets more expensive the greater in size.

Yet even if we ignore these problems, those who use computer screens no matter how large understand that there is never a screen that is too big.  They are always running out of space.  Also, since it lacks depth, the size of the large size of the screen becomes an obstacle itself, distorting our reality and not letting us see things in their natural-real-life perspective.

There is only one solution to this limiting problem.  The solution is to transform your entire room into your own cyberspace.  Imagine if one could move cyberspace objects around with their fingers as if they were on a touch screen to different parts of the room.  Yes it sounds like science fiction, but just imagine it!  Would this not entirely be a revolution in your cyber experience?  Would this experience not approximate your physical reality, at least when it comes to dimension and perspective?  To consider how close we are to this kind of technology, we would have to break down the problem into separate smaller problems that would have to be solved first.

FIRST PROBLEM PROJECTING IMAGES IN THE AIR
This is the smaller of the problems since it is already being done.  Its most sophisticated version was done on election night of 2008 by CNN.



OR this one which was done earlier by Virgin Records.



This technology is still very expensive but, remember Moore's Law.  Prices will come down dramatically.  Some excellent pseudo attempts were made to at a holographic television.  There is an excellent blogger who deals with holographic television development here.  He describes an early attempt (2004) in a product called the Claro Holographic TV (of which only 50 were manufactured and sold at Harrod's in London costing about $40,000).  I have found no videos if this system in use.

In 1996, Alexander McQueen  a world class fashion designer produced a hologram of the model Kate Moss which was shown at Alexander McQueen Fall/Winter Fashion Show of 2006.  This gives you an idea of what your future world will look like.



There is another company named viZoo which makes several products which are truly holographic.  One of them stands out called Free Format which looks very impressive.



This is a brief overview of holographic TV advances done by the Discovery Channel.



We will continue with this post in part 2 soon.  Stay tuned.

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