by Mark Ollig
Could we be soon using another futuristic “Star Trek” technology?
It could also be a “Star Wars” movie technology, because what I saw looked a lot like the film’s scene when a holographic Princess Leia pleaded for help from Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Technology used to conduct video phone calls is being radically re-designed from the current two-dimensional on-screen methods (such as Skype or FaceTime), to a version which will noticeably change how we interact with others.
Think of seeing moving images displayed floating in the air – not on a screen.
One company, Leia Display System, based in Warsaw, Poland, is showing off its “midair hologram system” technology.
I contacted Leia via Twitter and asked them: “Do you foresee this technology being used to conduct live, holographic video calls?
They responded back with: “You can easily make Skype calls using Leia. We’re planning to make a device even more suitable for that.”
Wow, their reply about being able to incorporate Skype with Leia surprised me a bit.
I realize, since it is now 2014, we will be hearing more of these high-tech surprises.
One online Leia video demonstration showed how their smaller-sized, standard display system (25.6 by 25.6 inches), could present moving, high-definition holographic images in the air.
The Leia display system uses a controller and a midair projection screen to display people and objects (in color) as moving, three-dimensional (3D) holographic images.
Their patented method of “laminar airflow” causes moving images to be seen hovering in the air using streams of scarcely visible fog. The holographic images can be touched, or even interacted with.
This fog contains miniscule water vapors, and serves as the screen or display medium, on which the holographic images are seen by our eyes.
You can watch a Leia smaller display system demo video here: http://tinyurl.com/bytes-Leia2.
The larger Leia display system (XL) projects holographic images in sizes of approximately 6 by 3-feet.
The demo video for the XL model showed moving holographic images of people during a fashion show presentation.
The floating holographic objects in the air were easily re-sized, and quickly “reassembled” whenever the Leia presenters passed their hands through them or made physical contact.
Leia’s website explains: “You can put your hand through it [holographic objects] or walk through it and the screen goes back to its previous form immediately. [An] interactive kit allows translating it into a giant multi-touch screen or other solution based on people movement.”
I was impressed by how the moving holographic images remained stable and easily viewable throughout the interactive demonstrations.
The Leia display system XL provides interaction with live dancers. This technology was demonstrated for the first time on Polish television’s “Got Talent 2013.”
Movies are also viewable using the Leia display system XL.
Here’s a video link where you can watch a demonstration of the XL system: http://tinyurl.com/bytes-Leia1.
“Leia is the next step in the evolution of electronic devices. [Sic] may soon forget about the mouse and keyboard. Leia makes traditional computer screens and televisions seem boring and outdated. I think that, over time, [they] will be superseded by holographic solutions,” said Marcin Panek, co-founder of Leia Display System.
Leia is currently endorsing its holographic systems for business promotions, movie premiers, and other types of company solicitations. It is thought holographic presentations would dazzle and draw the attention of an audience.
The company stated on Twitter, the water mist (fog) used in the holographic projection stream includes anti-bacterial chemicals, which alleviates concerns about the mist containing any contaminates. They are also considering using an ultra-violet (UV) light sterilizer in the display’s water pumping system.
Daniel Skutela, Leia’s chief designer and co-owner, talked about how their device can capture the smallest details of an image. He was confident their solution is “the closest to true hologram technology.”
The website for the Leia Display System is: http://www.leiadisplay.com.
Their Facebook page is: http://tinyurl.com/bytes-LeiaFB, and you can follow them at their Twitter username: LeiaDisplay.
Of course, yours truly could not end this holographically-themed column without including a link to Star Wars’ Princess Leia pleading: “Help me Obi-Wan-Kenobi, you’re my only hope.”
You can see all eight seconds of it at: http://tinyurl.com/bytes-Obi.