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Automotive & Transportation

Holographic 3-D Display Technology May Be a Game Changer for Industrial Applications

14 October 2016

Researchers at the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) have developed a protection-type, see-through, holographic 3-D display technology that could change how industrial applications use displays in the near future.

The holographic 3-D display technology combines an optical screen of a digitally designed holographic optical element (DDHOE) with a digital holographic projection technique. The result is a holographic 3-D image that can be viewed on a see-through screen for use in applications such as digital signage, in-car head-up displays, Smart glasses or head-mounted displays.

The holographic 3-D display technology combines an optical screen of a DDHOE with a digital holographic projection technique. Source: NICT The holographic 3-D display technology combines an optical screen of a DDHOE with a digital holographic projection technique. Source: NICT The company says holographic 3-D display technology suffers from limitation of the spatial-temporal resolution of the spatial light modulator, which affects the size of the display and the visual angle. Many technologies require a large optical setup behind the display window. However NICT’s new projection-type see-through technology allows users to design both the display size and the visual angle independently of see-through holographic 3-D image reconstruction.

How They Did It

Researchers at the NICT were able to create the holographic 3-D image projected on a see-through screen by using a digital holographic projection technique. The screen was fabricated on a hologram printer, and the light of the holographic 3-D image was concentrated to get a target observation area by a designed reflection function to increase the visual angle.

The company began its hologram project in 2014 and developed a hologram printer for recording a digital- designed wavefront. The printer can print not only 3-D data for 3-D visualization, but also it can fabricate holographic optical elements. This was made possible by advancements in high-speed computing and communication technology that allow for huge amounts of data to be transmitted in order to create a viable 3-D holographic display that has a high degree of freedom of both the display size and the viewing angle.

Using a digital holographic projector and a DDHOE screen created on a hologram printer, visual angle and display size can be increased from conventional methods. Source: NICT Using a digital holographic projector and a DDHOE screen created on a hologram printer, visual angle and display size can be increased from conventional methods. Source: NICT Then NICT modified its holographic 3-D display system with a projection lens. The function to concentrate the light of a projected holographic 3-D image to the target observation area was calculated as wavefront information—amplitude and phase distribution of the light—considering the projection parameters.

The wavefront was then implemented into a holographic recording film by using a hologram printer. The company says conventional approaches use a concave mirror or a convex lens to increase the visual angle of a holographic 3-D image. In contrast NICT’s new approach allows for a higher degree of display- size freedom and visual angle.

The company says future iterations of its hologram technology will include a full-color display system by upgrading the hologram printer and multiple holographic projections from different incident directions to the DDHOE to extend the observation area.

To contact the author of this article, email Peter.Brown@ieeeglobalspec.com


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