Even before a realistic-looking Tupac Shakur was "resurrected" on-stage for a live performance, holograms have captured the minds and imaginations of many. But the gap between fantasy and reality has narrowed significantly over the past few years. HoloVit, which recently proved a prototype, is seeking funds on Indiegogo for its personal holography system. HoloVit recording sets and screens are designed to capture and display holograms projected from smartphones, tablets, laptops, or TVs.
There are number of different hologram technologies currently being developed. Some, like Microsoft's "holoportation," involve complex 3D video capture systems while others, such as Holho's "hologram generator," employ simple mirrors set upon mobile devices to create the illusion of moving, three-dimensional images. HoloVit is a bit of a cross between the two, with the way it displays floating video on transparent screens.
The system is designed to work with devices without the requirement of a projector or special equipment. In a sense, a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or TV becomes the projector as it faces a HoloVit screen. When set at the optimal distance (for best results), images and video come to life, even in brightly-lit rooms – a challenge common to many projectors. One caveat is that only content that has been formatted as a hologram will work.
Holographic images displayed on HoloVit screens aren't true 3D (i.e. 360-degree) and can only be viewed on the side receiving the reflections. But with dim lighting, these vertical see-through screens practically disappear to leave full-color visions floating in air. And unlike the Holus "holographic" platform, one doesn't need to dedicate an entire tabletop in order to enjoy the show.
Although thousands of holographic videos are widely available, users have the option to record and share their own holograms. HoloVit's modular recording set features a stand and a black, laminated background. Any type of camera – even ones from smartphones or tablets – will work so long as no other background (other than the special one included in the kit) is shown in the recording.
HoloVit's Indiegogo campaign has raised 21 percent of its US$18,000 goal, with another month left of funding to go. Screens come in three different sizes, with pledges starting at $79. Higher tiers bundle recording sets, and all pledge levels include the Hologram Battle mobile app game (iOS and Android) as well as links to hundreds of videos that can be viewed as holograms.
Last December, the team had successfully funded a Kickstarter campaign to develop the HoloVit prototypes and prove that the technology/concept is possible. This launch on Indiegogo can be considered as the full production run. So if manufacturing goes according to plan, backers can expect shipments of HoloVit recording sets and screens as early as this September.
Check out the video below to see how HoloVit works.