Tangible Holograms

As you watch that video, you’ll probably find yourself wondering several things about the tangible hologram project. Why haven’t we seen these simple hologram setups used more often? Where did that cool air puff system come from and why haven’t we seen more on that?  When will this be integrated into the latest Xbox/PS3/Wii? We don’t know the answers to those questions, but we would really love to play with this in person to see how convincing it is.

24 thoughts on “Tangible Holograms

  1. this is REALLY cool, especially using focused ultrasound. It’s by no means simple, though–that’s a HUGE bank of ultrasound transducers, and there’s probably a fair amount of DSP required to get that to work.

  2. You can get ultrasound transducers on Ebay in bulk for a pretty reasonable price. I recently snagged 100 for just under $2/ a piece.

    The board shown in that video looks like it could be running about that many.

    we haven’t seen it because this use of ultrasound is rather new.

  3. I’m really not impressed with this; despite how intuitive the sensor setup is, its deployment was a 3d image on a monitor that’s manipulated with cameras… the stuff with ultrasound is pretty slick though, I want to see where this goes…

  4. I should add that my disappointment wasn’t necessarily the project in general, but the hype that got made by claiming it was a revolutionary ‘tangible hologram’ project… it really seems to have nothing to do with holograms…

  5. no its not holographic, see the wii motes with the infra red leds in the back ground? its just and image on the screen, the wii motes are just calculating where the camera is. they likely have some lights on their camera

  6. I think the most interesting thing is the ultrasonic as a tangible interface…

    The mirror isn’t a new concept and the image would appear flat but imagine tangible interfaces using ultrasound. That could catch on. It is feasible unlike the vacuum interface and other rubbish like that…

  7. Wow, that’s an amazing implementation of ultrasound. the only problem (and this may be due to the video) is depth perception. Everything is always behind the hand due to the projection.

    Still, the uses for this and the ideas it inspires is immensely amazing.

  8. The ultrasound is just a phase array transmitter. It is not new. Other places where used? How about side scan sonar (ultra sound). Fast weather radar (the kind that can spot a tornado) (radio frequencies). For that matter, how about fast military radar (RF again). I’m guessing that this is also how that Polk Audio sound bar works (ultra sound?).

    I’m thinking if all you are interested in is developing a single point in a small space (i.e. don’t care what happens out side of that space) you don’t need 100s of transmitters. I am guessing you could also do some mechanical tricks and get by with just a few transmitters. Also, remember if you are only interested in a small area, you don’t have to subdue alias points outside of that small area.

  9. Using a concave mirror allows you to make an image appear to exist in mid-air, but what is required to move that image forward and back?

    Vic already mentioned that the ball would appear to be a disk, so I’m assuming ALL the balls/raindrops would appear to be on one flat mid-air screen.

    Doesn’t sound much like a hologram to me, more like a display you can stick your hand through…

  10. @st2000: Yes, humans have been using ultrasound, in other ways, for a while now. However, up until now it’s, almost always, been either simple stuff or for sensor equipment. It isn’t the use of ultrasound that’s impressive here, it what they’re using if for. As far as I know, this is the first time anyone’s used ultrasound to produce artificial tactile response, much less been able to emulate specific surface properties. All the “augmented reality” systems I’ve ever seen required the use of invasive gloves with actuators in them and were extremely limited in their ability to emulate surface textures. This looks pretty impressive and seems like something they might be able to, drastically, increase the resolution of.

    Personally, I think this would be cool to pair with a pair of VR glasses and, either, an open space to walk around in or one of those omnidirectional treadmills. It wouldn’t be able to stop you from moving through any simulated surfaces, but it would be a large step towards recreating the premise of the Holodeck.

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  12. Yeah its not really that impressive. The idea is a good one but the need a better way of displaying hologram projections than a mirror. That the problem though. There isn’t one really. I mean you can project onto something like water but that not very good. They need to be able to simply project them into the air. I know its damn hard and I’m not saying I can do it, but then again I’m just a random techie not some MIT grad

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