Moving 3-D Holograms are Finally Here

Science fiction has shown us the promise that the future holds. Unfortunately, like all promises, it's made to be broken. For every nuclear submarine or wireless communicator that's become reality, there's a hoverboard or interstellar spaceship that's yet to leave the drawing board.

Thankfully, at least one infamous vaporware of speculative fiction is about to make a Duke Nukem Forever-style comeback. A group of researchers from the University of Arizona and Nitto Denko Technical Corporation successfully demonstrated a system for projecting moving holograms.

The key to the experiment is a specially-designed 10-inch photorefractive polymer. Holographic images can be quickly rendered, then subsequently wiped, at a rapid rate, simulating movement. The system receives visual input from 16 cameras so the display can be viewed from almost any angle.

Currently, the laser used to write the hologram onto the magic plastic can do so at a rate of 2 seconds. That may be a piss-poor refresh rate by today's standards, but quite an advancement when you consider that earlier prototypes started out at one image every four minutes.

The research team is already working to get the refresh rate up to 30 frames per second. They're also looking at increasing display size; so far they've managed to get a 17-inch version running. If this rapid development keeps up, we just might see a production model out in stores before Duke Nukem Forever is released.

[source: U Arizona via gizmag and New Scientist]