Practical application of 3D holography

Japanese computer scientists have succeeded in developing a special purpose computer that can project high-quality three-dimensional (3D) holography as a video. The research team led by Tomoyoshi Ito, who is a professor at the Institute for Global Prominent Research, Chiba University, has been working to increase the speed of the holographic projections by developing new hardware.

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Credit: Tomoyoshi Ito

Ito, who is an astronomer and a computer scientist, began working on specially designed computers for holography, called HORN, in 1992. The HORN-8, which adopts a calculation method called the “amplitude type” for adjusting the intensity of light, was recognized as the world’s fastest computer for holography in a publication in the international science journal Nature Electronics on April 17, 2018.

With the newly developed “phase type” HORN-8, the calculation method for adjusting the phase of light was implemented, and the researchers were successful at projecting holography information as a 3D video with high-quality images. This research was published in Optics Express on September 28, 2018.

In the latest phase type of HORN-8, eight chips are mounted on the FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) board. This enables one to avoid a bottleneck problem for the processing speed with the calculation method, by which the chips are prevented from communicating with each other. With this approach, HORN-8 increases the computing speed in proportion to the number of chips, so that it can project video holography more clearly.

Source (Chiba University. “A big step toward the practical application of 3D holography with high- performance computers.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 November 2018.)

Original paper: Nishitsuji, T., Yamamoto, Y., Sugie, T., Akamatsu, T., Hirayama, R., Nakayama, H., Kakue, T., Shimobaba, T. and Ito, T., 2018. Special-purpose computer HORN-8 for phase-type electro-holography. Optics express26(20), pp.26722-26733.

The Alchemist’s Letter

The film’s overarching message may not be the most innovative, but the way in which it hits those well-worn narrative beats is quite unique and effective. Stevens uses the visual language of highly polished 3D animation to convey the story. The design work present in this film is astounding as is the lighting and camera-motion. Although the film essentially takes place in only one location, by using the Alchemist’s fascinating machine as a central visual storytelling device, the viewer is transported effortlessly to different places and times. What results is essentially a montage, but it’s a highly effective one—impeccably designed and imbuing the material with just enough depth to form a lump in your throat. It’s perfect for those with short attention spans who just want an immediate injection of “the feels.”

Source (Ivan Kander, “The Alchemist’s Letter”, Short of the week)