1The dead rapper who came back to life with the help of an optical illusion
Digital Domain Media Group, a company that has produced special effects for movies, used old theatrical technology with a 21st-century spin, and the help of a second company, AV Concepts.
Tupac walked on stage with the aid of a technique called "Pepper's Ghost," which dates back to the 16th century. The trick requires two rooms, a main room (in this case, a stage) and an adjacent hidden room. In the main room, there's an angled piece of glass that reflects an image from the hidden room so that it appears like it's actually there.
"It is amazing, no question about it," David Brady, the head of the Duke Imaging and Spectroscopy Program at Duke University, said. "The impressive thing here is how life-like and detailed and natural it seems, and that's just an outcome of advances in computer rendering [rather] than display."
In June 2015, rapper Ray J celebrated what would have been Tupac's 44th birthday by getting down with the late rapper's hologram at the Hologram USA showroom in Beverly Hills. Apparently, anyone can now hang with Tupac...for free.
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2The hologram that is one of the biggest pop stars in Japan
Watch her sing "Sharing the World" on Letterman. below:
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3Microsoft's HoloLens headset takes Minecraft to a whole different level
In a video from the annual E3 video game conference in June 2015, a person "plays" Minecraft by projecting the iconic, blocky world onto his living room floor and furniture. With just a flick of the finger, he places new bricks, explodes TNT, and carves out walls, leading to vast, expansive worlds.
It looks pretty cool, but remember—it's still very much in the demo stages.
4The Chinese couple who replaced a Buddha statue that the Taliban destroyed with a hologram
The 1,500-year-old Buddhas of Bamiyan, which were once carved into a cliff face in Afghanistan, were blown up in 2001.
Zhang Xinyu and Liang Hong, a millionaire couple from Beijing, were so saddened by the destruction of the ancient relics that they took it upon themselves to resurrect the statues.
With 3D light projections, the couple recreated the 175-foot statue in the place it once stood. They gained permission from UNESCO, who has marked the Bamiyan Valley as a world heritage site. About 150 spectators witnessed the light show after sunset on June 6 and 7, 2015.
5The scientists who created a touchable hologram
Designers at the Digital Nature Group at Japan's University of Tsukuba were able to create 3D images by using scanners, mirrors, and high-speed, high-intensity lasers.
Firing lasers emitted by the femtosecond (that is, a quadrillionth of a second) produces safer results than those generated by the nanosecond. It is the first time this kind of imagery has been developed that isn't harmful to the human touch. Similar plasma-induced technology has never been able to yield such high-resolution images and tended to burn at the touch.
So, what does a hologram feel like? According to the powers that be, sandpaper.
6The hologram marchers protesting Spain's new gag law
Why? The protest was just the latest in the group's campaign against a series of “citizen security” bills, which received final passage in March 2015. The new laws criminalize gathering in protest in front of Parliament. The law also makes taking or distributing “unauthorized” photographs of police a crime punishable by a €30,000 fine. All in all, the laws would create 45 new infractions, mostly centered on cracking down on dissent.
A spokesman for the group drove the point home. He said, "Our protest with holograms is an irony. With the restrictions on our freedoms of association and peaceful assembly, the last option that will be left to us will be to protest through our holograms.”
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7A Florida company lets you deliver your own eulogy via hologram
Mindardo's company uses a projection screen called a "holo-cue" that produces life-size 3D images. He says the technology could be used for product demonstrations and other business applications, but believes his biggest market will be with customers interested in recording messages to be projected at their funerals.
"It gives you an opportunity to talk to the people who are important in your life and let them know how much they meant to you," Mindardo said.
8The physicist who put forth the theory that we live in a hologram — and he may be right
Like the security chip on your credit card, there is a two-dimensional surface that we can't see. This surface contains all the information needed to describe a three-dimensional object, which, in this case, is our universe. In essence, the principle claims that data containing a description of a 3D object could be hidden in a region of this flattened, "real" version of the universe.
Maldacena came to this conclusion when he discovered that mathematical descriptions of the universe actually require one fewer dimension than it seems. However, the principle has only been studied in exotic spaces with negative curvature. (Scientists came up with these spaces as way to combine describing gravity in a three-dimensional setting while predicting quantum particles in two spatial dimensions.)
The latest study by scientists at the Technology University of Vienna now suggests that the holographic principle holds in a flat space-time. To test the theory, scientists spent three years creating gravitational equations that do not require exotic spaces and, instead, live in a flat space.
The one key feature of quantum mechanics—quantum entanglement—had to appear in the most realistic model of our universe. The result? The team showed that this entanglement takes the same value in both a flat quantum gravity model and in a low dimension quantum field theory.
"This calculation affirms our assumption that the holographic principle can also be realized in flat spaces," said Max Riegler at the Technology University of Vienna. "It is evidence for the validity of this correspondence in our universe." (Source)
It should be noted that while all of the above are called holograms in popular culture, many are not true holographic imagery, but are instead optical illusions.