Holograms similar to what's been depicted in sci-fi TV and film for decades aren't quite ready for primetime but they are real and incoming. That's based on a recent report from TechNewsWorld, pooling statements and advancements from the industry.
For clarity, holograms are often depicted as a 3D image shown in the air. Typically, they represent 3D scan of a person in real-time, most often for communications.
Companies such as Aexa Aerospace, Portl, and Microsoft are already well on the way to delivering on that promise. Aexa Aerospace, for example, is already targetting a launch of its technology, demoed in June, by the end of 2020. The demonstration featured an interaction between CEO Fernando De La Pena Llaca and software architect Nathan Ream. The former was in Houston Texas while the latter was in Alabama.
Portl, meanwhile, works as a doorway-sized apparatus that beams a 4K image from and to anywhere in the world.
Microsoft has been demonstrating its technology since last year, when it utilized its HoloLens 2 headset to generated a full-size hologram representation of demonstrator and Azure Corporate VP Julia White at Inspire 2019 in Las Vegas.
Holograms are incoming as an extension of MR
There is plenty of discussion over use case and where holograms fit into the world. According to Enderle Group pincipal analyst Rob Enderle, for instance, the technology is an "extension" of mixed reality (MR). Mixed reality is a group that combines the category of AR and VR implementations already present in the market.
Founding Object Theory partner Michael Hoffman makes a similar conclusion, noting that holograms don't offer a whole lot that current technologies don't already offer. In fact, they enhance AR and VR. And that's because they offer the ability to deliver what he refers to as "the non-verbal aspects of communication."
Summarily, the incoming holograms as used in real-world scenarios offer body language cues. That's not unlike video conferencing or AR stickers in current technology. But, because they show more, they also offer deeper real-time insight on that front.
To begin with, they'll also be expensive just like the first iterations of the technology they'll be supplementing. The above-mentioned "Portl" requires only a standard wall plug, for instance, but it also requires fast, consistent internet to work. That's atop its already high $60,000 price tag.
But that's also geared toward education and other similar use cases. For instance, the categories 'served' by Portl — pictured above — include hotels, museums, casinos, malls, boardrooms, hospitals, and airports.
Current tech leaders want to bring hologram technology to the forefront too
Now, the cost of the technology should come down over time but that may get some help from unexpected sources. One such company that's already investing heavily in holograms is Samsung. The South Korean tech giant has often been derided for over-pricing its phones. But it also has a large footprint in the technology industry as well as the means to produce technology and required components.
So it should come as no surprise that Samsung has already been patenting and designing hologram equipment. That includes at least one portable adaptation designed and patented back in 2019.
The company also went a step further to tout holograms as an incoming technology that would serve real-world users across the gamut via the advent of 6G. 5G could also be used to support the technology, according to Mr. Hoffman and others in the industry. But, in either case, it will likely be established front-running companies like Samsung and Apple that deliver the technology to the wider user base.