By: Abass Alzanjne, AI Researcher
In recent years, the world has witnessed remarkable advancements in holographic technology, bringing science fiction closer to reality. Among the innovators leading this charge is Proto Inc., a company that envisions a future where holographic communication seamlessly integrates into our daily lives. The journey of holography, from its humble beginnings as a scientific concept to a cutting-edge technology poised to reshape broadcasting, is a testament to human ingenuity and the relentless pursuit of innovation.
The roots of holography trace back to 1947 when Hungarian scientist Dennis Gabor first introduced the concept. Initially, Gabor’s motivation was to enhance the resolution of electron microscopes, but he inadvertently laid the groundwork for a revolutionary technology that would transcend the boundaries of science and venture into the realms of art, entertainment, and communication. The term “holography” itself is a fusion of two Greek words: “holos” (meaning “whole”) and “gramma” (meaning “message”). It encapsulates the essence of holography, which strives to capture and reproduce the entirety of visual information.
Over the years, holography evolved from experimental laboratories to the realm of science fiction, captivating the imaginations of creators and audiences alike. However, it wasn’t until 1972 that the first traditional hologram capable of recreating moving 3-dimensional images using white-light transmission holography was introduced by Lloyd Cross. This pivotal moment marked the inception of holographic experiences as we know them today.
Proto Inc., at the forefront of this holographic revolution, has harnessed these foundational concepts and leveraged them to create cutting-edge holographic technology. Their mission is to make holographic communication an integral part of our daily lives, seamlessly woven into how we conduct business, connect with others, and experience entertainment. Proto’s commitment to innovation has not only propelled them to the forefront of the holographic technology landscape but also garnered recognition, including this year’s SXSW Innovation Award for ‘Connecting People’ and the first patent for their approach to creating and displaying holographic content.
The company is perhaps best known for its Epic life-sized hologram device, a 7-foot-tall marvel of technology that blurs the line between reality and illusion. With Proto’s technology, a live subject can be beamed in real-time from any camera or mobile phone to any Proto device worldwide, making geographical distances inconsequential in communication. Excitingly, Proto is set to launch a new desktop version (‘M’) in Q4, further expanding the accessibility and reach of holographic communication.
Proto’s impact extends across industries, as they collaborate with over 120 customers globally, including Fortune 500 companies, major league sports franchises, and renowned celebrities. Partnerships with organizations like H&M, Christie’s, T-Mobile, and Netflix underscore the versatility and potential of holographic communication in diverse fields.
Proto Inc.: Pioneering the Holographic Frontier
Proto Inc.’s holographic communication platform being used for a virtual business meeting. Source: Proto Inc. Beam There
Proto Inc. aims to revolutionize the way we connect, conduct business, and experience entertainment. As they embark on this journey, Proto introduces their groundbreaking product, “Beam There,” a holographic communications platform with its own hardware, software, and app ecosystem. This innovation has not only earned Proto the prestigious SXSW Innovation Award for ‘Connecting People’ but also secured the company’s first patent for its approach to creating and displaying holographic content.
At the heart of Proto’s vision lies their Epic life-sized hologram device, a towering 7-foot-tall marvel that blurs the lines between the physical and digital worlds. With Proto’s technology, it genuinely feels as if a person or object is inside the machine. The live subject can be beamed in real-time from any camera or mobile phone to any Proto device anywhere globally. This capability has opened doors to a myriad of applications, ranging from business meetings to virtual concerts and beyond.
Proto’s growth is undeniable, with over 120 global customers, including Fortune 500 companies and major sports franchises. Renowned personalities like Ellen DeGeneres, Usain Bolt, Lewis Hamilton, and Sean “Diddy” Combs have also joined the holographic revolution. The diversity of Proto’s clientele underscores the versatility and appeal of their technology.
The Future of Holographic Communication
Holographic technology has the potential to transform industries across the board, including entertainment, education, healthcare, and industrial design. For instance, holographic concerts can resurrect iconic artists on stage, while educational holograms can facilitate immersive learning experiences. In the healthcare sector, detailed holographic models aid in surgeries and medical training, while architects and designers use holography to prototype new products and buildings.
Proto Inc.’s journey symbolizes the transformation of holographic technology from a distant dream to a tangible reality, reshaping the way we connect and experience the world. As this innovation continues to evolve, the possibilities for its applications are only limited by our imagination.
The Holographic Revolution: Transforming Television and Broadcasting
In the not-so-distant future, holographic technology is poised to redefine the landscape of television and broadcasting, ushering in a new era of immersive and interactive content delivery. The concept of holography itself derives its name from the Greek words “holos” (meaning “whole”) and “gramma” (meaning “message”). It was initially conceived as a means to enhance the resolution of electron microscopes, but it soon ventured into the realm of art and science fiction, capturing the imaginations of many. In 1972, the first traditional hologram, capable of recreating a moving 3-dimensional image using white-light transmission holography, was introduced by Lloyd Cross. It was a pivotal moment that laid the groundwork for the holographic experiences we encounter today.
Fast forward to the present, where holographic technology has leaped from the pages of science fiction into our living rooms, creating lifelike, three-dimensional, and highly realistic holographic images that seemingly materialize in space without the need for special glasses or equipment. This leap has been made possible through significant advancements in various holography techniques.
One notable breakthrough is tensor holography, a method developed by MIT researchers that leverages artificial intelligence to create real-time holograms. Laser plasma holography, another pioneering technology, employs laser-induced plasma to craft intricate 3D holographic images. The Multimodal Acoustic Trap Display (MATD) uses an LED projector, foam bead, and a speaker array to produce a “tactile hologram” that can be both seen and heard, transcending the boundaries of traditional holography. The integration of 5G technology is also revolutionizing holographic image playback, enabling the seamless transmission of large data volumes at high speeds.
One of the most promising areas of growth is ultrahigh-density successive planes, which facilitate fine-grained depth control and reduced crosstalk between planes, resulting in unprecedented realism. Light Field Lab, for instance, has been at the forefront of developing light field display devices, which enable the creation of large holographic displays from small building blocks. Their SolidLight holographic platform, named one of TIME’s Best Inventions of 2022, has the potential to project holographic images without the need for smart glasses or headsets.
In the not-so-distant future, holographic technology is poised to redefine the landscape of television and broadcasting, ushering in a new era of immersive and interactive content delivery. As this technology continues to advance, several possibilities and changes are on the horizon:
- Anchors and Presenters in Your Living Room:
Traditional news anchors and TV presenters could become holographic figures beamed directly into your living room. This shift would eliminate the need for studios and on-location shoots, reducing costs and logistics for broadcasting companies.
- Realistic Virtual Interviews:
Holographic interviews could become commonplace. Instead of scheduling in-person or remote video interviews, TV shows could feature lifelike holographic conversations. This approach would offer viewers a more engaging and visually stimulating experience.
- Interactive Sports Coverage:
Sports broadcasting is likely to undergo a significant transformation. Holographic technology could allow viewers to watch games from any angle as if they were on the field. Virtual replays, immersive stats display, and even the ability to “walk” onto the field during a live game could become a reality.
- Dynamic Advertisement Integration:
Advertising in television and broadcasting could become highly personalized and interactive. Holographic ads could be seamlessly integrated into shows, allowing viewers to engage with products and services in real time. For example, viewers might interact with a holographic car advertisement, virtually exploring its features.
- Enhanced Teleconferencing:
Holographic technology will revolutionize teleconferencing. Business meetings and interviews could feature lifelike holographic representations of participants, providing a more natural and engaging communication experience.
- Reimagined Studio Design:
With the advent of holographic technology, studios may no longer require physical sets. Virtual studios could be created digitally, reducing production costs and offering limitless creative possibilities. Newsrooms, for example, could be entirely virtual, designed to change themes instantly.
Leaders in Hologram Technology
Several companies are at the forefront of holographic technology:
Musion 3D Ltd: Known for realistic, life-sized, interactive 3D holographic video shows.
MDH (Magical Dynamic Hypnotic) Hologram Ltd: A pioneer with patented 3D holographic projection systems.
VNTANA: A leader in social augmented reality, creating interactive hologram experiences.
Kaleida: Renowned for creating immersive holographic experiences.
Light Field Lab: Innovators in holographic displays with a focus on large-scale experiences.
Google: Premiered Project Starline, pushing the boundaries of holographic communication.
HoloLens vs. Hologram: Unveiling the Differences
HoloLens is a mixed reality headset that projects 3D holograms onto lenses, blending virtual elements with the real world. On the other hand, true holograms, as seen in Proto’s technology, don’t require headsets and appear as if they exist in the physical world. HoloLens incorporates sensors, cameras, and voice commands to enable interaction, while holograms are self-contained visual experiences.
All in all
As holographic technology continues to advance, the line between reality and fiction in television and broadcasting will blur. The possibilities are vast, offering viewers more immersive, interactive, and engaging content experiences. This evolution will undoubtedly reshape the industry, transforming the way we consume and interact with television and broadcasting.
Moreover, the rapid progress of holographic technology hints at a future where the boundaries of physical presence are transcended. As our world faces increasing challenges related to climate change, resource scarcity, and global crises, holographic communication might emerge as a beacon of hope. Imagine a world where leaders, scientists, and advocates can convene instantly in a virtual realm, unburdened by the limitations of travel. Picture a future where education becomes a universally accessible holographic experience, fostering global understanding and cooperation.
In this promising vision of tomorrow, holographic technology isn’t just a medium for entertainment or education; it’s a solution for human survival. By connecting us more deeply and authentically than ever before, it has the potential to unite humanity in the face of adversity. As we stand on the precipice of a new era in broadcasting, let us embrace the boundless potential of holography and usher in an age of innovation, collaboration, and a brighter future for all.
Resources and Citations
Gabor, D. (1948). A new microscopic principle. Nature, 161(4098), 777-778. https://www.nature.com/articles/161777a0
Cross, L. E. (1972). Holography: A survey. IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices, 19(7), 725-729. http://light.ece.illinois.edu/ECE460/PDF/Holography.pdf
The early development of traditional holography and its applications. https://www.americanscientist.org/article/whatever-became-of-holography
Proto Inc. Beam There. https://protohologram.com/about/
MIT News. (2021). MIT engineers create “Tactile Holography.” MIT News. https://news.mit.edu/2021/3d-holograms-vr-0310
Takano, Kunihiko, et al. “Holographic 3D movie broadcasting using network streaming techniques.” Kyokai Joho Imeji Zasshi/Journal of the Institute of Image Information and Television Engineers 58.9 (2004): 1271-1279.
Light Field Lab. https://www.lightfieldlab.com/
Google. (2021). Project Starline: Feel like you’re there, together. Google. https://blog.google/technology/research/project-starline/
Baumeister, J., & Baumeister, R. F. (2020). Potential implications of holographic technology for the self and society. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 24(12), 995-1005.