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Displays Hardware

Breakthrough in Holographic Displays 59

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the deck-of-holos dept.
bendodge writes to mention the BBC is reporting that researchers at the University of Tucson, Arizona have created a polymer that allows holographic images to be created in minutes. Normally holographic images are created by mixing the results of multiple laser lights to lay down a static image, a lengthy and delicate process. "In a paper in Nature Mr Tay and colleagues describe their thin-film polymer that can have images 'written' to it in minutes and can be wiped as quickly to take and display another image. The material has been shown to stay stable throughout hundreds of write and erase cycles. The ability to quickly refresh images in holographs could mean that surgeons use them as a guide during operations or as a better way for pharmaceutical researchers to study molecular interactions for new drugs during simulations."
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Breakthrough in Holographic Displays

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  • Almost right (Score:5, Informative)

    by Tau Neutrino (76206) on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @06:07PM (#22326266)
    University of Arizona, in Tucson.

    Hope they got the rest of it right.
    • Alternate Coverage (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @06:15PM (#22326352)
      Ars has better coverage [arstechnica.com] which talks more about the polymers used and how this is actually achieved. It also has a link to the paper published in Nature [doi.org] (although you can only get an abstract if you're like me and don't have a subscription).

      I submitted this story, too. So knowing Slashdot, we might see a dupe :-)
      • I submitted this story, too. So knowing Slashdot, we might see a dupe :-)

        Dupes are necessary for the holographic effect.

    • by Tarlus (1000874)

      University of Arizona, in Tucson.
      I'm glad that the first post on the page was the quickest to correct that!
  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @06:08PM (#22326270) Journal
    Help me, Obi-wan, you're my only hope
  • I can hardly wait for this to be adopted! Though it seems that it needs some new drivers or something; 1/300 or so FPS isn't going to be nearly good enough to play TF2 on.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      1/300 or so FPS isn't going to be nearly good enough to play TF2 on.
      But by the time this is available to consumers, Duke Nukem forever is going to look awesome.
  • Primary use (Score:4, Funny)

    by QuickFox (311231) on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @06:09PM (#22326284)
    Judging by the article illustration its primary use will be to create Hollywood-style zombies.
  • Hmm (Score:4, Informative)

    by ShooterNeo (555040) on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @06:12PM (#22326332)
    From R(ing)TFA, it appears that this thin material allows taking of a holographic IMAGE quickly. It still would be incredible useful, as holographs can be viewed from multiple angles and are in 3 dimensions. A photograph that sticks out. Granted, most of the ones I have seen are pretty bad but in principle they could be useful. The medical application does sound handy : instead of flat 2d xrays, xray machines would be basically digital CT scanners that gather enough information to produce a 3d image from a specific angle. This digitally processed 3d model would then be used as the basis for forming a holograph, suitable for placement on the X-ray reading boards and having on a clip next to a surgeon during surgery.

    BUT...it is by no means a 3d display. The best way to have full motion, high resolution 3d images is still using a head mounted display combined with a sensor for tracking head movement.
    • No, it's a display. (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The BBC writeup isn't very good. Try Ars Technica's coverage [arstechnica.com] and you'll see that it's a 100 cm^2, rewritable holographic display. Or you can read the scientific paper in Nature [doi.org].

      It really is a holographic display. It uses a mixture of two polymers and quite a few kilovolts to zap things into place, after which you get a nice little display. It takes about half a second to form the image, which then lasts for about 3 hours (compared to it vanishing in about as much time as it took to create the image befo
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by noidentity (188756)
      Johnny Lee's head tracking using Wiimote [youtube.com] sure seems effective enough for examining 3D objects with a normal display.
    • by hesiod (111176)
      > instead of flat 2d xrays, xray machines would be basically digital CT scanners that gather enough information to produce a 3d image from a specific angle.

      Reading the article, I was decidedly unimpressed at the thought that this would be useful for surgery. You see, there are already software applications that can take a stack of CT images and create a 3d "flythrough" view. This technology already exists for PCs, so having a holographic version of the same thing seems like a HUUUUGE step backward, and
  • We are now closer to the era of holographic videos.

    Of course the movies will be silent and the polymer records will have to spin at 78 million RPMs.
  • you can take it on the go with the help of the mobile emitter.

    Did I just make a Voyager reference? Sigh...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by B3ryllium (571199)
      Just don't forget to turn it off when you're done.

      "I'm a doctor, not a lightbulb." :)
  • by Denial93 (773403) on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @06:18PM (#22326382)
    Pharmaceutical data, my ass. We're looking at "Playboy 3D" material here, and a reason to go back to print media for everyone's monkey-stroking needs!
    • Or even worse the holographic ads that sci-fi films have been promising for decades. It'll start as "static" billboards, then as the technology matures and the display can refresh images faster we'd be looking at 3d commercials outside Victoria's Secret... yay
    • by Cappy Red (576737)

      Pharmaceutical data, my ass. We're looking at "Playboy 3D" material here, and a reason to go back to print media for everyone's monkey-stroking needs!
      2d porn gives way to 3d porn, which eventually gives way to the next stage of technology: prostitutes.
  • by Tyler Too (909326) * on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @06:55PM (#22326742)
    BBC's coverage is pretty lame. Slashdot would serve its readers better by linking to coverage at a science blog instead. For instance, Ars Technica's Nobel Intent science journal [arstechnica.com] has a far superior writeup of the announcement.
  • Great! Now I can print all of my Hannah Montana concert pics in 3D!
  • So this seems like its moving toward a holograph writer which you could install in your PC. Then you could write holograms just like you burn a CD, but would these holograms have more or less storage capacity than what we have now?
  • In minutes? Wake me up when holographic images can be created in tens of milliseconds. Also, I demand a 20 cubic foot recessed tabletop display. Finally, it probably needs to cost under $500, so we can put one in every classroom.

    OK, back to sleep now.
    • Re:Zzzzz (Score:4, Informative)

      by jbengt (874751) on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @10:38PM (#22329080)
      It only takes minutes if you're making it on the re-writeable photorefractive polymers, of which this new one is an improvement.
      If you're using plain old film to make a non-re-writeable hologram, then it takes about as long as it takes your film to expose.
    • by rrohbeck (944847)

      In minutes? Wake me up when holographic images can be created in tens of milliseconds. Also, I demand a 20 cubic foot recessed tabletop display. Finally, it probably needs to cost under $500, so we can put one in every classroom.

      OK, back to sleep now.
      Actually I keep wondering where the problem is with this. All you need is a spatial light modulator with a resolution significantly smaller than lambda. Why hasn't anybody built a DMD or silicon LCD with 100nm pixels?
  • will need to speed up their stuff
  • I'm starting to get tired of seeing the "vaporware" tag for stuff that actually exists. Just because you can't buy it yet doesn't mean it's vaporware. Now had the scientists said, "We came up with an idea that would allow us to make a material that will/might/should display a hologram/holograph in minutes", and it's touted as something that will be available, then it's vaporware.

    However:
    "The material has been shown to stay stable throughout hundreds of write and erase cycles."
    and
    "The team has automat

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