Could holographic TVs hit shelves before 3D takes off?

The University of Arizona's Professor Nasser Peyghambarian is hard at work making moving holograms a reality. In fact, he's pretty darn close. That begs the question — could the next big format war be between 3D displays and holographic ones?

If you ask the professor, his displays aren't for televisions and the like, but rather even crazier applications such as holographic telepresence, aiding in remote surgeries and even serving as 3D battlefield maps. Either way, the display is the first of its kind, setting itself apart from the static holograms that are on baseball cards and the like.

"At the heart of the system is a screen made from a novel photorefractive material, capable of refreshing holograms every two seconds, making it the first to achieve a speed that can be described as quasi-real-time," said Pierre-Alexandre Blanche, a UA College of Optical Sciences professor who is close to the project. Crank that up to 30 frames per second — something not out of reach of the project — and we're in business.

Still, Blanche asserts that the research is "not targeting the consumer market," though he does acknowledge that "it has the potential for full immersion and virtual reality without goggles." Oh, the possibilities! As long as there's no glasses to be worn, we're in.

Look below for videos showing off the technology.

Kotaku, Arizona Daily Star and EurekAlert!

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