Holographic Videoconferencing: Just a Few Years Away?

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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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