Back in December, we saw some of Zebra Imaging's impressive full-color holographic prints. With funding from DARPA, Zebra has been able to develop and electronic version of the same technology, embodied in an actual glasses-free 3D holographic projector table.
DARPA started funding their "Urban Photonic Sandtable Display" back in 2005, and it's taken until now for the program to produce the utterly fantastical platform that it was shooting for, namely:
Color, real-time, 3D holographic displays with up to 12 inches of visual depth. The technology enables 360-degree viewing by a team of 20 people without 3D glasses or goggles.
As we've seen, this isn't simply a 3D image. It's a full color 360 degree high definition hologram, meaning that you can walk all the way around the display and view it from any angle you want. And not just view it, but actually see the scene from that perspective. Plus, the implication of phrases like "real-time" and "interactive" implies that the display is capable of dynamically refreshing itself to some extent (although it doesn't sound like it's yet capable of full-motion).
These displays will at first be put to work for the military, but Zebra Imaging also wants to get them into the 3D entertainment and gaming markets, where viewers can "escape into lifelike, three-dimensional entertainment and games that explode with full-color, true-3D realism." Sounds good to me, now how much am I gonna have to pay to get one of these in my living room?
Check out a little reminder of how incredible Zebra's holograms are in the vid below.