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Press Release 10-207
The Emergence of Holographic Video

Experimental networked display refreshes holograms every two seconds

An image of an F4 Phantom fighter jet created with the new 3D telepresence system.

An image of an F4 Phantom fighter jet created with the new 3D telepresence system.
Credit and Larger Version

November 3, 2010

View a webcast with Nasser Peyghambarian of the University of Arizona and videos (video1, video2, video3, video4) of the holographic 3D display.

Researchers at the University of Arizona (UA), Tucson, have developed a holographic system that can transmit a series of 3D images in near-real-time, a precursor to holographic videoconferencing.

The system incorporates a novel, photorefractive polymer--one that can rapidly refresh holographic images and is scalable for production--coupled to a unique system for recording and transmitting 3D images of individuals and objects via Ethernet.

Lead author Pierre-Alexandre Blanche and his colleagues from the university and Nitto Denko Technical Corp. of Oceanside, Calif., describe the breakthrough in the cover story of the Nov. 4, 2010, issue of Nature.

"This advance brings us a step closer to the ultimate goal of realistic holographic telepresence with high-resolution, full-color, human-size, 3D images that can be sent at video refresh rates from one part of the world to the other," says co-author and project lead Nasser Peyghambarian of UA and the Director of NSF's multi-institution Engineering Research Center for Integrated Access Networks (CIAN).

The researchers had previously demonstrated a refreshable polymer display system, but it could refresh images only once every four minutes. The new system can refresh images every two seconds; while not yet ideal for a display, the rate is more than one hundred times faster.

Additionally, using a single-laser system for writing the images onto the photorefractive polymer, the researchers can display visuals in color. While the current refresh rate for multi-color display is even slower than for monochromatic images, the development suggests a true 3D, multicolor system may be feasible.

"This breakthrough opens new opportunities for optics as a means to transport images in real time," says Lynn Preston, director of the NSF Engineering Research Centers program that supports CIAN. "Such a system can have an important impact on telepresence, telemedicine, engineering design and manufacturing, and other applications. This is an early and tremendously important outcome from this three-year old center."

More information is available in the UA press release.

This material is based upon work supported by the Engineering Research Center Program of the National Science Foundation under NSF Cooperative Support Agreement Award No. EEC-0812072

-NSF-

Media Contacts
Joshua A. Chamot, NSF, (703) 292-7730, jchamot@nsf.gov
Daniel Stolte, University of Arizona, Tucson, (520) 626-4402, daniel.stolte@gmail.com

Program Contacts
Lynn Preston, NSF, (703) 292-5358, lpreston@nsf.gov

Principal Investigators
Nasser Peyghambarian, University of Arizona, Tucson, (520) 621-6997, Nasser@optics.arizona.edu

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2014, its budget is $7.2 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 50,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $593 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

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Image of project lead Nasser Peyghambarian of the University of Arizona.
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Peyghambarian of the University of Arizona describes an experimental 3D teleconferencing technology.
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A hologram of a member of Peyghambarian's lab in the photorefractive polymer screen.
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A hologram of a member of Peyghambarian's lab appears in the photorefractive polymer screen.
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Holographic representation of a vase showing different colors.
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Holographic representation of a vase showing different colors capable with the new system.
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Holographic image of a F-4 fighter jet in the photo-refractive polymer screen.
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A pulsed laser inscribes a holographic image of a F-4 jet into the photo-refractive polymer screen.
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Series of holograms inscribed by a laser into the photorefractive polymer screen.
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A laser inscribes a series of holograms into the photorefractive polymer screen.
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Photo of study co-author and project lead Nasser Peyghambarian of the University of Arizona, Tucson.
Study co-author and project lead Nasser Peyghambarian of the University of Arizona, Tucson.
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Photo of team member Vivian Sieh holding up the photorefractive polymer.
Team member Vivian Sieh holds up the photorefractive polymer.
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The cover of the Nov. 4, 2010, issue of Nature.
The cover of the Nov. 4, 2010, issue of Nature.
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