The real-time 3D hologram is no longer just a figment of our imagination. A new technique based on artificial intelligence (AI), called tensor holography, could indeed allow its creation. So it can be used for virtual reality, medical imaging, 3D printing, etc.
By means of artificial intelligence, scientists now have the ability to generate 3D holograms quickly. Moreover, the holograms produced in this way are not only in color, but also have a photorealistic appearance. And the best thing is that this technology can even work on a smartphone or tablet. A new technique could also allow its use in VR and AR headsets, and in other fields.
Real-time hologram: the origin of technology
This is not the first time that scientists have sought to create computer-generated holograms. However, the process required large amounts of calculations, and these have to go through physical simulations. The results are therefore far from satisfactory.
Now, MIT researchers have discovered tensor holography following several trials requiring powerful computers and a lot of calculations. The new method is so effective that it can therefore produce holograms almost instantly, even on low-performance mobile devices.
Liang Shi, a computer scientist from MIT, did not even fail to declare that everything worked as by magic. The result really exceeded all the expectations of the team. It should be noted that Shi worked alongside Wojciech Matusik, his advisor, Beichen Li from EECS, and with the MIT computer science and AI lab. There are also former MIT researchers, including Petr Kellnhofer (Stanford University) and Petr Kellnhofer (Facebook).
Real-time hologram: an alternative to the current VR
Virtual reality has undergone a significant evolution in recent times. Despite this, VR headsets are not not yet able to dethrone computers and televisions when it comes to video viewing.
The reason is simple: VR technology can make some users sick. This is mainly due to the effects of motion sickness. Thus, eye fatigue and nausea can result.
In order to avoid this, the scientists therefore looked for a solution to enjoy better 3D visualization. They then reworked for the digital world a technology more than 60 years old, which is none other than the hologram.
An exceptional representation of the virtual world
It’real-time hologram is able to offer a outstanding performance of the virtual world that surrounds any user. In addition, it offers a breathtaking appearance.
The perspective may also change depending on the position of the user.
Thanks to the technology, his eyes can even adjust the focal depth, and thus focus on the background and foreground in a way alternative.
An important database created
Computer-generated holography is aimed at simulate an optical configuration. But this process is a long and difficult work. Indeed, for each point of a scene or an image, the depths differ and the operations that are applied to them are therefore also different.
To remedy this, scientists have adopted another approach, which consists in letting the computer assimilate physics itself. By designing a database where more than 4,000 pairs of images were generated. Each pixel and the color information is associated with an image. These contain information about the depth and color of each pixel.
Then the algorithm immediately gets back to work, learning each pair of images and changing the parameters of its own calculations. Thus, the method was successively improved in its ability to create holograms.
In this database there is also a 3D hologram for each image. The idea is to use this data for the convolution neural network to learn how to calculate the best way to generate 3D holograms from the images.
It should be noted that this new system requires less than 1 MB of memory. It can generate up to 60 full-color 3D holograms per second at a resolution of 1080p.
The future of the real-time hologram
This study also demonstrated that in a few milliseconds, holography makes it possible to create holograms from images and information in depth. This scientific and technological breakthrough paves the way for the real-time 3D hologram, and could thus improve a host of systems, from virtual reality to 3D printing.
In the future, it is possible that eye tracking technology will be used to speed up the system. Effectively, this would make it possible to create high-resolution holograms only in areas where eyes look according to Liang Shi.
Holograms could even be generated by taking into account thevisual acuity of each person. Thus, users wearing glasses will not need a special VR headset that matches their optical prescription.