George Lucas’s first Star Wars movie in 1977 gave the world a – then – fascinating glimpse of what holographic imaging could mean. That particular iconic image of a projected Princess Leia was more a filmmakers photographic trick than anything approaching holography.
But a report in speciality publication MEKO’s Display Daily by Dr Jon Peddie suggests that thanks to improved technologies in Virtual Reality and its ‘sister’ Augmented Reality, the world might be getting closer to ‘real’ holography.
Dr Peddie says that the challenge is not insignificant, and good quality holo-images depend on a number of variables, not least the computer imaging itself but also the light source. He describes ‘Ray Tracing’ (RT) as one solution and perhaps the ‘holy grail’ of computer imaging. “RT generates (if done properly) a physically accurate representation of an imagined or reconstructed scene,” says Dr Peddie.
He highlights work being done by Dr Reuven Bakalash, founder and CEO of Adshir, as someone who has “figured out a way to short cut through the projection process of ray tracing”. Adshir showcased their LocalRay technology at last month’s CES in Las Vegas, and using a simple Microsoft Surface tablet had a miniaturised dinosaur walking across different surfaces (including a simple desk) and saying ‘hello’ to an R2D2 mini-droid.
Dr Peddie says: “The demo is significant because it shows light in the room reflected in real time as the creature ambled across the table, casting shadows and appearing in the objects. It even walked across a phone on the table — and left footprints on the black touchscreen!”
Adshir has 10 granted patents and another 11 pending, most of them around its LocalRay technology.