Leading edge display technology and advertising seem to go hand in hand. Always attempting to attract attention advertisers have proven themselves willing to take a chance on untested technology.
Holographic projection seems to be the latest darling of the advertising community, InnoVision being the latest to demonstrate a real product, aimed squarely at advertising and promotion. Expect to see some stunning advertisement placements, in places you would least suspect.
Microsoft’s has recently demonstrated a number of holographic technologies, all pure R&D, no completed products in sight. Microsoft’s demonstrations however did push the boundaries of interaction, developing new ways to interact with the digital world. You can be certain that parts of the technology are bound to end up in advertisements all around us.
These latest holographic technologies will initially come at us from many angles. Appearing in the latest music video for its leading edge sheik, usually doing something mundane like displaying a can of Coke in the background. Or as real world advertising stands that we can all choose to ignore, or interact with, these are the technologies that will try to catch our attention in the near future.
InnoVision Labs Diamond Series Projector
Most impressive is InnoVision Labs HoloAd Diamond Series holographic projector. The 3D effect is very crisp and glasses aren’t required to get the full effect.
First introduced to the world in mid-2010 the Diamond Series projector was the star of the recent CES show. One of those CES stands that had people checking around the back looking for another explanation. Rubbing your eyes to check twice this device will expand your belief of what is believable.
Making the Diamond an advertisers dream is the ability to project the holographic image around a real object. This was used to great effect at CES – see the video – where the projected image appeared to be coming from a mobile phones screen. Very impressive.
The HoloAd uses a fairly standard – in theory not implementation – triple projector setup to create the hologram which is viewable from all sides, 180 degree visibility. What the HoloAd does that sets it apart from previous attempts is the level of control of the hologram. The hologram can be moved around the enclosure in real time, allowing the display to adapt to any real object included. The projector can play any FLV movie file from devices connected to its USB connection. Then there is the edgy sci-fi design of the device itself. All of these things add up to the Diamond series becoming a ground breaking product and technology.
Microsoft Research shows off see-through 3D display, Holoreflector, IllumiShare
Recently at the Microsoft TechForum event the public were given a rare glimpse inside Microsoft’s Research and development labs. Microsoft didn’t just have one new device on show though, they had 3 new takes on Holographic displays, mixed with a healthy dose of augmented reality. The Transparent 3D Display, Holoreflector and IllumiShare are all experimental display technologies that Microsoft is currently testing. Each of the projects on their own is a small part of the puzzle, together they are perfecting the technologies required for the ultimate holographic environment, the Holodeck.
The transparent 3D display is part augmented reality and part 3D display but the effect that it creates could easily be described as an interactive holographic display.
The images that the user views are fully 3D, looking to float in mid-air in front of you, Using a Samsung transparent OLED the technology has the feel of an illuminated magnifying glass, like the type used by labs and assembly lines around the world. The 3D images floating in mid-air dispels this impression though, you quickly realize this is something very different. Looking through the transparent OLED panel projected objects are seen, you are able to interact with the objects with your hands, putting your hands behind the screen your hands become part of the scene. A camera on the backside of the panel interprets your hands motions, moving objects in reaction to your movements.
The second technology demonstration, The Holoreflector integrates a mirror, super sized LCD panel and a Kinect sensor to create a large interactive person in a box experience, your own personal 3D avatar. Using the Kinect sensors the system replicates your actions along with any computer generated objects to create an minority report type interface, represented by the avatar in the box. It is yet another instance of waving your arms madly, looking like a crazy person to any innocent by-standers around you.
IllumiShare, the final technology preview is an interesting development that creates a tele-presence or shared desktop experience. Using a camera and projector to share a small patch of desktop between multiple users no matter how far apart – or close -. Anything placed or drawn on the shared patch is synchronized simultaneously. Playing real life board games while being on opposite sides of the world is now possible.
The pinnacle of 3D holographic displays seen in Sci-Fi has to be the Star Trek Holodeck, a complete holographic doorway to another world. To replicate the Star Trek Holodeck or even the Star Wars holographic experience we are going to need more than just a bright and clear hologram. Also required are the abilities to interact with the display and don’t forget a record button for 3D messages.
There are many small developments required on the road to the Holodeck, many exists in the R&D labs around the world already. With full sensory immersion and holographic environment the Holodeck is the ultimate dream of the holographic display, still it’s a long way down the road, it will surely be an interesting journey though.