Big Think | Advances in holographic technology could have far-reaching implications

November 9, 2010

Source: Big Think — November 9, 2010 | Michio Kaku

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Back in July, a team at Tokyo University was one of the first groups to successfully create a system of touchable holograms. If you had a hologram of a small red ball, for example, you could essentially interact with it.

The ball would know when it was near your hand and would appear to bounce off of it. When this technology first made news, it was compared to a primitive version of the holographic computer desktop interface in Minority Report.

But now another major development in holographic technology is making headlines. A new device has been created that can transmit 3-dimensional images in close to real time. This could result in major advances in holographic tele-presence technologies. For example, I could conduct a keynote speech in Tokyo from the comfort of my own home — a 3D, high-resolution, full size image of my body¬†could be projected on stage in front of a live audience over 6,000 miles away.

Ray Kurzweil using the Teleportec video conferencing technology. (Image: Kurzweil Technologies, Inc.)

If you are familiar with the work of my colleague, Ray Kurzweil, you may be aware that he sometimes gives “virtual lectures” where a 3D image of him is projected into a special podium. This telepresence system, designed by Teleportec, has to have two running systems: one in Ray’s office, and one on the special podium that displays the image. This allows him to conduct lectures in real time and interact with the audience on the other end. He can even make eye contact with students in the audience.¬†[...]