What are Volumetric and Holographic Displays?

One of the long anticipated innovations to stem from the rapid progression of technology has been holographic or volumetric displays, also referred to as 3D displays. Since 2005, researchers have been working toward creating practical uses for holography, and the aggregated attempts of these developers over the years have turned 3D visuals into an experience that can be facilitated by a personal mobile device. MIT's Media Lab produced a holographic projector that employs a spatial light modulator (SLM), the central component of digital holography, to create a holographic video. As these technologies continue to be refined, it won't be long before consumers will have the option of purchasing devices with holographic capabilities, an advancement that will be accompanied by a offering of downloadable media files in 3D formats.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • I feel the category should be renamed or appended with "transparent displays". Holographic, while still a viable technology, is taking a backseat to newer technologies that do not use that name.- scott.sayre scott.sayre Mar 2, 2016ssayre
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(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on education and interpretation in museums?

  • As this display technology begins to mature we will begin seeing museums integrate this these types of transparent displays into their casework and environments, allowing for large scale augmented visual experiences. Labels, videos, animations and more will be overlaid on top of the objects or environments behind the transparent screens. Multitouch interfaces can further enhance these user experiences, connecting the virtual to the physical. Another great potential benefit of this technology is that it does not require a visitor's personal device to provide a personalize augmented experience. - scott.sayre scott.sayre Mar 2, 2016ssayre
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(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

  • The Corning Museum of Glass is currently researching interpretive applications for transparent OLED displays in some of our casework. - scott.sayre scott.sayre Mar 2, 2016ssayre
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