Holograms in Real Life: How Technology Works and Industry Use Cases


You all remember Princess Leia, appearing as a floating image in the early episodes of Star Wars. In the 80s, a wider audience discovered the word “hologram”, and this was long before the appearance of the first online casino games.

For years, it seemed that holograms would forever be confined to the corner of science fiction. However, very recently, things have started to change thanks to advances in optical technology.

What is hologram technology?

In real life, holograms are three-dimensional virtual images created by the interference of light beams that reflect real physical objects. Holograms preserve the depth, parallax, and other properties of the original element. They are perfect for presenting complex technical concepts as well as presenting visually appealing products.

So, what is a hologram? Simply put, holograms are three-dimensional images generated by interfering light beams that reflect real physical objects. Unlike conventional 3D projections, holograms can be seen with the naked eye.

There are two ways to create holograms: via computer – with augmented reality glasses, and physical – for optical displays. Depending on the method used, there are two types of holograms – stereotyped and realistic.

Stereotypical holograms

The most common and recognizable example of a stereotypical hologram is Microsoft HoloLens. In 2015, Microsoft became the first company to introduce HoloLens holographic glasses. The technology unveiled by the tech giant is now widely used to create augmented reality.

To create holograms for HoloLens, content creators use HoloStudio software. Users can import models from other services or create 3D objects themselves using the application. In short, you can use HoloLens to create complex virtual objects. In turn, these objects are superimposed on the imagery of the surrounding world through the use of virtual reality glasses.

The result is an image that looks a lot like Pokemon Go. The only difference is that in HoloLens, rather than seeing fantastic dinosaurs, you deploy a virtual workspace, an educational desktop, or a virtual conference with colleagues.

HoloLens makes this possible by linking AR objects with traditional computer programs for work and entertainment. Check out this short demo for more information on holographic technology.

Realistic holograms

In 1947, Dennis Gabor – a Hungarian-British physicist – developed the modern hologram theory while working on an electron microscope. However, optical holography only really advanced with the advent of the laser in 1960. A laser emits a powerful burst of light that lasts only a few nanoseconds.

ALSO READ  Google's Android Things Platform Is Ready for Commercialization

This makes it possible to obtain holograms of high-speed events, such as an arrow or a ball in flight. The first laser-based human hologram was created in 1967, which paved the way for many other applications of holographic technology.

So how do holograms work? Holography is a unique method of photography by which 3D objects are recorded using a laser and then restored as accurately as possible to match the originally recorded object. When illuminated by a laser, holograms are able to form an exact 3D clone of the object and duplicate its characteristics.

In order to produce an accurate visualization of a hologram at a certain point in space, two light waves must be coordinated in motion – a reference wave and an object wave. Both are formed by separating the laser beam.

The reference wave is created directly by the light source and the object wave is reflected by the recorded object. There is also a photographic plate on which dark bands are “printed” according to the distribution of electromagnetic energy (interference) in a given place.

A similar process takes place on ordinary photographic film. However, to reproduce an image from it, printing on photographic paper is required. However, when actively using hologram technology, everything happens a little differently.

To reproduce a “portrait”, the photographic plate must be “illuminated” with another light wave in the immediate vicinity of the reference wave, which converts the two waves into a new light wave that runs alongside the object wave. The result is an almost entirely accurate reflection of the object itself.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.