Thursday, January 29, 2015

Microsoft Hololens

At least it is somewhat intriguing that Google stops production of its Glass and Microsoft introduces the Hololens. Off course the word ‘holo’ drew my attention. This blog is about holoferencing, so it is interesting to see if Microsoft sees the Hololens as a possible solution for working in groups as if physically together at one place while being geographically apart. Does the glass in essence differ from the Hololens? Yes I think so. The glass was adding information to the real world, augmented reality. The real world remains prone. For holoferencing, the real world needs be much more supportive to give the impression of being together in one room with people (holograms) from anywhere in the world. Although Microsofts website on the Hololens shows people with things surrounding them. I can imagine those things could be (holograms of) humans. Microsoft seems to focus on gaming and modelling markets. Maybe holoferencing is the next step.

Monday, June 10, 2013

How to show a hologram in free space?

One of the questions in holoferencing is how to show a hologram in free space. Awareness of a person in our proximity is caused by a stimulus of our senses. The five senses we use are hearing, seeing, feeling, smelling an tasting. For holoferencing it would be fine if we could make hearing and seeing work. But lets focus on seeing in this post.

Seeing an object in free space is basically caused by reflection of light on a surface entering our eyes. So the question could be how we can imitate the reflection of light in a free space? Can we emulate the reflection of light of a specific color in free space, with only air in it. This could be by making something reflect the available light or be a source of light as if it was reflected by a colored surface. We will need to think 'out of  the box' on this challenge.

What if we could manipulate air in a way that would make it reflect light? Or how can we make two or three different sources (of a kind) causing light at the intersection point of those three sources? Or can we fill the room with (harmless) matter that would react on the intersection of some kind of waves with the radiation of light?

If this is possible we can eliminate the need for screens and 3D glasses to have this holograms of other people moving around the room and we ourselves being able to move around the hologram without interrupting its presence.

Is there any research going on with respect to this subject?

Monday, May 27, 2013

Microsoft working on teleconferencing

They call it Viewport. Some time ago Microsoft published a white paper about this new product intended to provide “a videoconferencing experience that creates the illusion that the remote participants are in the same room with you”, This does sound familiar. See my first blog on this subject dated May 2006. Shortly after my first blog Wainhouse Research produced a segment report on this subject. Did I inspire some readers of that blog to investigate and start research on this subject?

It is clear that holoferencing is not a forgotten subject. Some progress is made on the development of the required technology and prerequisites became viable or available in the mean time. So what will it take to experience the first real implementations of holoferencing? Unfortunately 'Scotty' will not experience the first edition of this new frontier 'where no man has gone before'. But will we live to see it?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Holographic Visualization Tool

Zebra Imaging makes a very sophisticated tool for displaying tool. Willem van Engen brought it to my attention through a website on holography about different things concerning this technology. He thought holoferencing an interesting idea. But not so much people investigating or developing in this area. Anyway, Zebra is worth taking a closer look. Thanks for the suggestion Willem!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Virtual Sound Source

A round holoroom. The voices of people (holograms) walking through the room should be as if originating from the place where the person is located. For that we need located sound.

Sa, b and c are sounds that cannot be heard. ST is audible sound that sounds as if originated from this spot. I found this book on "3-D Sound for Virtual Reality and Multimedia" by Durand R. Begault. Second chapter is about spatial hearing. But this still gives the listener the impersion of sounds coming from a side and distance. I think we need a movable sound source or rebuild technology to let sound originate from any coordinate in the holoroom. Maybe article by Matti Gröhn gives a better view on located soud. 3-D Sound gives 121.000 hits with Google. "Virtual Sound Source" gives 12.500 hits.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Holoferencing discovered by Google

Mark this point in time. Google gives 1 hit on holoferencing. Google did not find this word anywhere else on the Internet. It is not special for Google to find the word as this blog is powered by Blogger, which is Google. But it looks special doesn't it?


The mid-air display is capable of projeting an image in free-space. IO2Technology shows the M2 and M2i supporting up to a 30" diagonal (4:3 aspect) image. The "i' version also support interaction with the image "floating: above the system. This technology comes closer to the solution needed to "project" images is free space in a holoroom. It does not show if and how information is captured. Is there a 3D camara available? Google gives 84.400 hits on "heliodisplay". On "free space display" it shows 720. "Mid air display" only gives 216 hits.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Autostereo 3D Display and Volumetric Display

Further research brought me to the following technologies for displaying images in a 3-dimensional way which seems to me of basis importance to develop the holoroom.

Autostereo 3D Display is being worked on at Cambridge University. They have a nice explanation on this technology which is based on displaying many "pictures" shortly after each other and so causing autostereoscopic vision. A display is needed. One can look at the display but not walk in the display, around the object. Google gives 1.110 hits on Autostereo Display and 50 on Autostereo 3D Display.

Volumetric Display is being worked on by the University of Toronto. A description on how one can interact with this display is given in this document. This also is a display, although with dome form. One can also not be in the same (holo)room with the object. Google gives 26.000 hits on Volumetric Display.

Is there a future in using one of those technologies for making images available in a holoroom?