The Best Holographic Displays

Over the last year I have written about several holographic displays and it got me wondering which is best and which shows the most potential. For those Starwars fans you will remember the famous scene of R2D2 projecting Princess Leah in to the air with a message playing. Since seeing that when I was a kid the thought of a fancy 3D or holographic floating display has fascinated me. The displays I am writing about today are what is actually available today and built and not just theory.

Sega Hologram
Lets start with a little bit of an oldy… The first I remember was made with a clever use of mirrors and it was produced by SEGA and was named SEGA Hologram. The game was called Time Traveller. The unit was a large white case with a black shiny screen laying horizontal in the machine. While looking at it the smart use of mirrors gave a 3D holographic effect in which it shows the characters walking on top of the screen. Game play sucked, but it still made me spend money just so I could control the characters who appeared right in front of me.
Sega Hologram

Fog Screen
Fog Screen was introduced in 2002 and interactivity was added a few years later. Fog Screen works with non-turbulent airflow which keeps the display crisp and clean. A projector with a 4500+ ANSI lumen rating is then used to project the image on to the fog. This allows the viewer to walk through the screen unharmed and is ideal for creating interesting and eye catching displays.

A few years later (around 2005) the Heliodisplay was revealed by io2technology. The unit displays the image on to a virtual screen as it were, which creates a thermal differential in the air which then allows the air to pick up the projection. Well, that is my explanation of it 😉 As well as being a screen the Heliodisplay can be moved around as it has optical sensors built in which can detect the slightest movement of your hand or an object with in the picture. This allows a large 3D display to be more interactive which works well at trade shows.


True 3D
Next in line is True 3D which uses yet another method to display its image. This time the use of lasers is needed which fires to intersect each other. This generates small amounts of plasma which in turn light up to display an image. This seems like a dangerous way of getting 3D to work and suddenly the Helio seems like the safer option to me. True 3D at the time of writing the original article last year was capable of displaying 100 dots per second.
True 3D


Vizoo Holographic Projector
The next screen has been used by Lexus in New York. The Vizoo allows for a complte 360 viewing angle and can accomodate large screen sizes. Unfortunatly the video of the Lexus is now off line due to copyright reasons. It did show a Lexus on display in a show window which was made interactive. The 3D image could then be rotated around by the user to help customise their life size model of the car they want to buy.

The Hole – video powered by Metacafe

Although the images are not 100% clear, these are all great advances in holographic/3D type screens.

Which is the best? I guess it all depends on what you intend to use it for. Looking at the True 3D version you might need to be more careful as plasma is used which indicates it is hot. For me, the simplicity seems to land on the Heliodisplay. But as each of these is in excess of 5 figures then I think it will be a while yet before they are available to the consumer.

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