As you can see from the articles here on 3D TVGuide.org, 3D TV is most definitely recognised as one of the keystones of future home entertainment. But even before we've seen mass acceptance of 3D entertainment - TV, gaming, laptops, etc - technology experts in industry are working on developing new technologies that take 3D TV a step further.
One of these is in holographic TV, and researchers are at the beginning of a drive to making holographic TV a reality for consumers. The video on the right shows how a research team has found a way to film, transmit and display a holographic subject so that it's able to be seen in true 3 dimensions.
Holographic TV takes the way we see objects a step further than current 3D TV technology. At present when we view the images presented by 3D TVs in a group or in 3D movies as the cinema audience, we are seeing the same image no matter where we are watching from. The illusion of depth is created by our brains by each of our eyes receiving slightly different perspectives of the same image. Holographic TV lets us see a 3D image from a different perspective depending on the viewing angle, without the need for 3D glasses. The holographic image we will see will be as 'real' as possible without it actually being real. But don't hold your breath, it's believed that holographic TV technology won't be perfected in such a way that it's commercially viable for many years.
That said, there are very companies who appear to be making strong advances in the technology. These include:
Cheoptics360 is a holographic technology which uses four separate hologram projectors to project a holographic which can be viewed from multiple angles.
Claro Holographic TV
Claro's innovative holographic technology - known as the Holoscreen - was being hailed as a breakthrough in the field back in 2004. The solution worked by displaying an image sent by any type of projector through a sheet of 1.5 metres by 1 metre rectangular transparent glass with a translucent sheet attached. The image was sent at a specific angle to the display resulting in a stunningly sharp forty inch holographic image which appeared to float in mid air.
The Claro was touted as being able to handle multiple types of inputs including DVD, video, PC, games consoles, and cable TV services. 50 were procuced or sale at Harrods, but I've so far been unable to unearth any sales success at the time.
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In August 2010 Japanese researchers demonstrated a holographic 3D TV which gives users the ability to touch and feel the holographic images it displays. Using six different motion detector cameras which act to monitor the fingers of the viewer, along with small clips which are attached to fingertips and vibrate when an image is touched, a viewer is allowed to touch and feel any projected images and actually move them by stretching or squashing.
It's easy to visualise how future holographic TVs might look, either as wall mounted flat panels with the projectors mounted behind and projecting through the screen, or as table top devices which project upwards.
Breakthrough technology advances are being seen in the subject of holographic TV projection, with size reduction being one of the main focuses. We may not be far off a day when mobile phones will be able to project 3D images, and a further step on from that may soon see gesture controlled holography as seen in the movie Minority Report.
Breaking Developments in Holographic TV
April 2011 - Researchers in Japan have a unique method - using electronic wave technology - of creating full colour holograms which promises to revolutionize how we enjoy 3D entertainment. The holographic image is delivered using ordinary light instead of lasers and is presented in a way that it remains constant in colour whatever the viewing position. Recent demonstrations have shown a 2cm width holographic image of an apple, so the technology is some way from being useable in commercial situations. Read the full details in the Daily Mail article on holographic TV developments.