Korean scientists developed a hologram display technology that can realize holograms in 360-degree three-dimensional (3D) color image, which often appears in science fiction films such as Star Wars and Minority Report. It will be used as a core technology that allows users to watch hologram images in smartphones or ushers an age of hologram TV.
The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) announced on Dec. 2 that it developed a “tabletop holographic display” technology that reproduces 360-degree 3D hologram at a size of 3 inches.
A Hologram produces 3D photographs by using interference and diffraction properties of light waves. At present, commercialization is not possible due to technical limits. Only MIT in the U.S. and Japan's National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) have demonstrated hologram technologies that enable users to view images from within an angle of 20 degrees.
The ETRI said that real hologram technology uses diffraction of light waves, unlike fake hologram that is used in hologram shows. Another hologram technology creates 3D effect by using 2D image hanging on a screen in the air, it thus cannot produce a real 3D image that looks different from different angles. In this regard, ETRI’s technology uses interference and diffraction of light waves from a laser light source which produces a 360-degree 3D hologram image, which allows users to get a real view from different angles. With the tabletop holographic display technology, the research team succeeded in producing five color hologram images and one video that can be viewed from any direction at one time when lifted 0.5 cm above the table.
This technology was unveiled at the 2015 Creative Korea, which took place from Nov. 26 to 29.
The institute plans to develop technologies to improve image quality, expand the current three-inch size of the new hologram and miniaturize the system by 2021. It also plans to develop and commercialize a technology that would enable the transmission and reception of hologram images through 5G networks.
Kim Jin-woong, head of the Broadcasting Media Research Department at the ETRI, said, “This is our first time to develop a new hologram which is three-inches big, and which can be viewed from every direction. We will conduct a follow-up study in order to use the technology to enable hologram broadcasting and vivid virtual reality by expanding the size to 10 inches and improving its image quality in the future.”