Washington: Researchers from MIT have unveiled the fastest 3-D holographic video to date, filming a graduate student dressed as Princess Leia and projecting her as a postcard-sized hologram in real time.
The holographic device, unveiled at the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers’ conference in San Francisco, plays a 3-inch projection at 15 frames per second, just shy of movie refresh rates of 24 to 30 frames per second.
“I think it’s an important milestone because they were able to get to 15 frames per second, which is almost real time,” Discovery News quoted physicist Nasser Peyghambarian, who led the Arizona research, as saying.
“The quality is not as high, but hopefully it will get better in the future,” he stated.
The MIT team used a Kinect camera from an Xbox 360 gaming console to capture light from a moving object.
Then they relayed the data over the Internet to a PC with three graphics processing units, or GPUs, tiny processors found in computers, cell phones, and video games that render video quickly.
The processors compute how light waves interfere with each other to form patterns of light and dark fringes. Light bouncing off these fringe patterns reconstructs the original image.
The MIT team used a display to illuminate the computer-generated fringes and create a hologram.
“The students were able to figure out how to generate holograms by using what GPU chips are good at,” Michael Bove, an MIT engineer who led the research, said.
“And they get faster every year. There’s room for a lot more understanding of how to compute holograms on them,” he added.
First Published: Friday, January 28, 2011, 19:01