October 18, 2021

From HoloLens to “True” Hologram: How?



I know readers have one question in their minds: Are you qualified to talked about hologram? I want to set this clear first. I do have a engineering and computer science background, and computer 3D Imaging is not awfully strange to me. I did research of course. Also, I want to remind everyone, the science behind hologram is very basic: geometrical optics and physical optics, we all have learned in high school. If that’s not enough, if you have attended any science or engineering related programs in college, you must have seen holograms in you physics labs.

Some Important Information About HoloLens

In this post, I want to answer one silly question: Is what you see through HoloLens true hologram? The answer is YES. There is no argument. Many people, including those who knows the technology very well, have said HoloLens is not true hologram, and it shouldn’t be called hologram. Their reason is: You have to wear a HMD (Head Mounted Display) visor to see it. They are expecting you see holograms up in the air, with no lens, no support what so ever. I have to tell you, this is physically impossible.

Lets start with the basics. The reason we see anything is because the lights beam into our eyes, making an image on our retinas, then it send electrified signals through visual nerve cords to the brain. Lets not talk about implanting anything behind retinas, I am not sure if I want to talk about it, unless I am blind. But anyway,  in order for our eyes to see anything, there must be light coming from somewhere, coming in proper angle so our eyes can conceive what we see as certain object, from certain distance. Unless there is something in the air that can bend the light the way we want it, there is no hologram in the air. This, something that bends lights but is invisible, doesn’t exist in the physics that we know. So, what about the hologram we saw in the physics lab? First of all, that little statue or something is generated by a few devices in front of your eyes. And second of all, you normally look at it through a lens.

Some Business Ideas with HoloLens – (6) Holo-Online Store

Some say, wait a minute, I have seen large scale holograms they appear in the air. That’s what I am going to talk about: an extension of HoloLens. Right now, the lens in HoloLens is very close to your eyes, about 1 cm maybe. Now, lets move the lens (and the light engine, everything) 5 meters, even 50 meters away from your eyes, which become about 3m x 3m or 30m x 30m in size (the lens has to scale up when move far away if you want to keep the same field of view). Now you have turned the room into a huge HoloLens. When you step into the room, you are like wearing a HoloLens. Eye tracking technology will detect your eyes and send lights to them. If you have seen a real hologram like that, the technology is approximately the same.

Some Business Ideas with HoloLens – (10) Holo-TicketMaster

So, here are your choices: A room sized HoloLens you walk in or a HMD sized HoloLens you wear on. What you said a true hologram is probably the former (maybe under a variation of the same technology). But for the vast majority of use cases, the later is the choice.

There isn’t a third choice, by law of physics.

Some Business Ideas with HoloLens – (8) Holo-Movie
Some Business Ideas with HoloLens – (7) Holo-Escort
Some Business Ideas with HoloLens – (6) Holo-Online Store

  • Mark Tarrabain

    Real holograms don’t have to use eye tracking or motion tracking technology to determine what you see from the angle you are looking at it. Viewing a real hologram on a photographic plate is a lot like looking at a real three-d image through a window. From further away, you may only see part of what seems to be behind it, but as you get closer to the hologram, you will see more of it, just as you would see more of a scene behind a window by being close to the window that you would being further away. The image doesn’t have to change at all to do this and can be entirely static, even though what you see does change, depending on the angle and position you are viewing it from.