Holographic Videoconferencing: Just a Few Years Away?

If CNN can beam in reporters to comment on elections in its studio, why can't you talk to your boss or girlfriend's holographic image when she's hundreds of miles away? A few reasons. First of all, CNN's "hologram" wasn't really a hologram. Second, the system for transmitting light and reconstructing your girlfriend's three-dimensional image in front of your eyes turns out to be pretty expensive.

But a team of researchers at the University of Arizona are reportedly a few years away from bringing hologram technology to an office (or iPhone???) near you:

Researchers have made a major step toward a holographic videoconferencing system that would let people communicate with one another almost as if they were in the same room. They have developed a full-color, 3-D display that refreshes every two seconds, and they've used it to send live images of a researcher in California to collaborators in Arizona. In the coming years, the researchers hope to develop a system that refreshes at standard video rates and can compete with other 3-D displays.

Read the full story at Tech Review.

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Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

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