We saw a version of it on election night, courtesy of CNN, and DVICE reckons there's barely a decade to go before it becomes available on our TV screens. But perhaps the most significant step towards hologram TV was unveiled yesterday at the National Association of Broadcasters show in Las Vegas — albeit in its most basic form.
The electronic holograph machine comes courtesy of Japan's National Institute of Information and Communications Technology. Crude it may be — there's something very Rube Goldberg and Steampunk about the contraption in the gallery below, don't you think? — but while 3D television, for which you need 3D glasses, is seen as the stepping stone towards holography, this is a great, spectacle-free leap forward: Holographic images of real, moving objects in real time. One technical correspondent summed it up thus: "The pictures suck, it's tremendously noisy, but it exists, and it hasn't before."
The video of the car above shows just how clear the image can be, and how often it can be refreshed. It's created through a series of lenses and mirrors sitting atop an optical table that move fractionally, thanks to several micrometers. The future, it seems, will be seen in stereoscope. That means any of you who were impressed by Panasonic's two-lens camera, well, you ain't seen nothin' yet!