Step into the holodeck, where you can enjoy a simulated reality that goes way beyond simple 3D television.
It may be several years away, but holographic TV is already in the works. Holographic television research is being conducted by the University of Arizona, the University or Texas, the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) in Japan and other scientific research centers. Holographic television is different from the current 3D technology in many ways. While 3D television allows for only two perspectives with the stereoscopic illusion that is created, holographic video allows you to move around and view objects from many perspectives, just as if you were viewing a solid object.
While holographic images are already a reality, they are still in a stage that would be called “crude.” We are probably a long, long way from the realistic simulated reality found on the Enterprise in Star Trek’s Next Generation television series.
A few years ago the University of Arizona developed breakthrough holographic television technology by developing the first updatable three dimensional display with memory, which allows a view to view an object from multiple angles.
The best part about holographic television technology is that a view will probably no need to wear special glasses, which in itself would be a breakthrough. Several approaches to displaying holographic television images are being researched, but a final product could look like a flat screen television, or it could be a multi-layered screen as described in an article on the Popular Science site called The Holographic Television.
As the Popular Science article indicates, holographic technology has multiple applications, such as three dimensional medical imaging and military training. It does look like a viable, consumer-ready holographic TV is still many years away. Unless there is another major breakthrough, it will probably take 10 years or more before we can enjoy true holographic TV.