4 November 2010
Holographic video transmitted via Ethernet
by Kate Melville
Researchers at the University of Arizona have developed a holographic system that can transmit a series of 3D images in near-real-time. The monochromatic system is limited to a refresh rate of 0.5 frames/second but the developers say it is a precursor to full-blown holographic videoconferencing.
Reporting the work in Nature, research leader Pierre-Alexandre Blanche (pictured) explained that 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 standard Ethernet.
"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-researcher Nasser Peyghambarian.
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.
"This breakthrough opens new opportunities for optics as a means to transport images in real time," commented Lynn Preston, director of the National Science Foundations Engineering Research Centers program that supported the research. "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."
Source: National Science Foundation