We use high-definition television, dark rooms, and surround sound to create an immersive media experience. But for those who want television that more closely resembles the holodeck, there’s good news. A University of Arizona research team has made a significant breakthrough in 3-D displays that could put holographic sets on the market in five to ten years.A team at the university’s Optical Sciences department, headed by photonics and lasers chair Dr. Nasser Peyghambarian, has created the first rewritable holographic displays that operate from memory:
"This is a prerequisite for any type of moving holographic technology. The way it works presently is not suitable for 3-D images," he said. The researchers produced displays that can be erased and rewritten in a matter of minutes.
These holographic television would offer multiple types of 3-dimensional viewing experiences:
According to Peyghambarian, they could be constructed as a screen on the wall (like flat panel displays) that shows 3-D images, with all the image writing lasers behind the wall; or it could be like a horizontal panel on a table with holographic writing apparatus underneath. So, if this project is realized, you really could have a football match on your coffee table, or horror-movie villains jumping out of your wall.
It’s still a long way away from the multisensory experience of the holodeck, but it could mean that next decade’s first person shooters will have you sniping aliens from behind your sofa. Scientist: Holographic television to become reality [CNN via Slashdot]