If you've been fantasizing about becoming a hologram (no, not like Jem) since you saw Princess Leia make a plea to Obi-Wan Kenobi in 'Star Wars,' your nerdiest dreams may soon become a reality. A team of researchers at the University of Arizona reported in the latest issue of the science journal, 'Nature,' that they're working on a holographic technology, which will display images in alternate locations -- updated in real-time.
The group from the university's College of Optical Sciences is pairing up with Nitto Denko Technical Corporation to create a 3-D telepresence in full-color (no glasses needed), which would be viewable from all sides. How does it work? In plain speak, a variety of perspective shots are captured on a series of cameras -- arranged in an arc or circle. The info is processed and sent via computer to another location -- essentially anywhere in the world. The 3-D holographic system "prints" the images onto a screen with a laser, which are updated every two seconds, and all that's needed to illuminate the image is light.
Scientists see the holographic equipment being used for manufacturing (car or airplane design modeling, for example), video conferencing, medical purposes ("Imagine a very complicated surgical procedure -- then with this system surgeons around the world could participate. They could see the whole procedure in real-time and in 3-D, and help out ... "), and of course -- entertainment.
With some techno improvements, including better lasers and faster "printing" ability, the whole invention could become a reality within the decade Arizona Professor Nasser Peyghambarian says. Of course, James Cameron and the porn industry are probably way ahead of us. Check out a video below for a closer look at this exciting, new technology.