Princess Leia, appears on our screens for the first time in the sci-fi movie Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, only, as a hologram being projected from R2D2. We gasped as we saw her ethereal beauty. She was also the epitome of a beauty in distress. After all, she was asking for help.
Similarly, our hero Marty McFly travels to the future in ‘Back to the Future Part II’. There he is attacked by a 3-D holographic shark that is advertising ‘Jaws 19’. Literally!
So, what do these 2 iconic Sci-Fi movies have in common? They have Holograms, and the use of hologram technology is not merely place a boo background decorations. They have helped establish a character and also depicted the stories advancement towards future tech. Unfortunately, now that we are in the 2018 and way past the October 21, 2015 date referenced in Back to the Future part 2, we still haven’t got access to such realistic hologram technology.
Holography: How It Works
Don’t get me wrong. We do have 3D, 4D and even 4K television at our disposal, but holograms are independent of them. What we do have is a cheap laser hologram manipulation which displays fluorescent projections that are reflected on a surface. It needs to be established that this process is often fine tuned and used on massive structures like the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
So why can we have such large scale laser productions but not simple holograms? That’s because, laser hologram displays employ multiple lasers for projection purpose, whereas for holograms one single beam is enough. This unique beam is usually split into 2 by a lens.
The logic here is that one of the 2 beams is diverted to the film directly and the other is reflected to the object itself. Aka, it is restricted to an area where both the beams are display on top or in Princess Leia’s case on the side of the lens.
We now know the technology. We know how it is supposed to work, but the question that arises is that where its real time application is in today’s date?
Alternative Facts: A Reality of Holographic Phones
There are 2 phones in the market that are boasting of being the first smartphones that display this feature. One of them has been making the same claims from 2014.
Takee 1 3D Holographic Smartphone, announced way back in 2014 that it was the first smartphone with which one can enjoy holograms. In fact, they boasted of 1080 x 1920 pixels FHD Holographic display. Unfortunately apart from a rather highly VFX looking YouTube video, there have been hardly any confirmations of the validity of this feature working. You can check out that video here.
In recent times, RED Hydrogen One smartphone is claiming the same. It too is talking about being the first smartphone with holographic display. Here too the company claims to have holographic 4-view content on a 5.7-inch holographic display. Until and unless this product is released in public, its claims shall be met with skepticism.
So where does this leave us? We are the generation of Sci-fi lovers who have grown up watching and waiting for the same. We are just itching to get our hands on holographic technology. Guess we will have to settle with the holographic Alarm clocks. They at least are closest to the sci-fi level of holograms we have grown up loving. You can purchase them here.
AI, Our Only Hope
While there seems to be no chance for our generation to experience Star Wars level holograms, hope is not lost. With Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, we are halfway to achieving something even better. A virtual assistant that currently has audio capabilities. Now the only thing that is lacking is the visuals. Here too, we can look towards Sci-Fi movies for inspiration.
The Vox 114 (a holographic librarian) in the iconic ‘The Time Machine’ may just become a reality. The interactive artificially intelligent librarian is everything we can hope to achieve when we talk about holographic visuals. After all, we have already taken the first step in that direction with the above mentioned virtual assistant.
All that remains is waiting, watching and hoping that this technology advances into audio and visual. It goes mainstream soon so that we don’t need to wait for another 10/20 years to interact with Vox 114! Hologram Technology is the key that shall make our present feel like the future of our beloved Sci-fi Movies. Keep your fingers crossed for this one folks!