NICT Develops 3D Color Electronic Holography for Moving Subjects

Nov 18, 2008
Masao Oonishi, Nikkei Microdevices
Real-time 3D display: Images of a toy fire truck (front), a tree (middle) and three-dimensional characters, "3D," (back) were shot and displayed.
Real-time 3D display: Images of a toy fire truck (front), a tree (middle) and three-dimensional characters, "3D," (back) were shot and displayed.
[Click to enlarge image]

A Japanese institution developed a color electronic holography that enables to take 3D images of moving subjects in normal lighting conditions without using a laser light or a darkroom and reproduce them.

The technology was developed by the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT).

The holography is based on the integral photography, which shoots subjects in normal lighting conditions by using a video camera with a fly-eye lens composed of a number of microlenses. The same fly-eye lens is used to display 3D images.

In order to produce a color hologram with the existing methods, it is required to shoot the subject separately with red, green and blue laser beams. Therefore, it has been impossible to shoot moving subjects, and it has been required to use a darkroom for shooting.

With the new technology, a video image of a subject is shot in normal lighting conditions. And a hologram is made from the video by high speed computing.

The hologram is displayed on LCD panels provided for each of the RGB colors. Then, the holographic images on the panels are reproduced with laser beams and synthesized so that a color 3D video can be displayed in real time.

At present, the size of the reproducible image is only about 1cm because the holography has a small 3D viewing angle of 2°. NICT aims to quadruple the size to approximately 4cm within the next three years.

Shooting and reproduction systems of color electronic holography (Click to enlarge)
Shooting and reproduction systems of color electronic holography (Click to enlarge)
[Click to enlarge image]