Hologram technology is starting to slowly impact our lives more and more. Medical students are now being taught using new “mixed-reality” training that involves them learning from life-like holograms.
The entertainment industry has also jumped on the hologram bandwagon, performers can now be beamed around the world or even into a mobile game.
The developments made in hologram technology have led to many industries now taking advantage of them. But what exactly are holograms, how are these industries utilising this technology and are there alternatives that you could benefit from? Keep reading to find out.
Holograms and how they work
In simple terms, hologram technology is a three-dimensional projection which can be seen without using any special equipment such as cameras or glasses. The image can be viewed from any angle, so as the user walks around the display the object will appear to move and shift realistically. Holographic images can be static, such as a picture of a product, or they may be animated sequences which can be watched by multiple people from any viewpoint.
The technology used to capture and project holograms has advanced rapidly in recent years. These latest techniques allow increasingly convincing and interactive models to be displayed and are expected to become even more widespread in the future.
Now that we’ve got a better idea of how hologram technology works, let’s take a look at the areas most impacted by holograms:
The healthcare industry
Doctors and patients alike will benefit from radical new applications of holograms in the medical industry. The type of data provided by modern imaging techniques such as MRI and CAT scans can be easily translated into digital information. Traditionally, doctors have viewed this data on computer screens in 2D slices. Medical hologram technology will allow a complete 3D visualisation of internal organs and body parts. This will allow doctors a greater ability to examine diseases and injuries in individual patients and will lead to more accurate diagnoses.
This technology can also be used in the new field of surgical pre-planning. Prior to making the first incision, the surgeon can fully visualise the entire course of the operation. By understanding exactly what precise cuts are to be made, the chances of a successful outcome are vastly improved.
Many healthcare organisations may not have the funds to be able to purchase all the equipment necessary to benefit from the use of holograms. In this situation, a video wall presenting 2D imagery would be a reasonable alternative. A video wall with high-quality screens would allow doctors to view images from MRI scans, for example, on a larger scale than a standard monitor. Being able to see this data on an HD video wall would help the doctors to spot small irregularities that will, like hologram technology, help them to make more accurate diagnoses.
A seamless video wall removes the black bars called bezels that appear where the screens of a video wall meet. This uninterrupted display would provide doctors with the best image, as none of the results would be cut off or shifted to the next screen. Being able to see a test result clearly shown across one display would further help doctors make accurate diagnoses.
To learn more about video walls, check out our blog post on what you need to consider when looking for a video wall solution, here.
In retail, catching the eye of potential customers is the number one aim. Eight seconds is now believed to be the average customer attention span. So you need something that will grab the attention of potential customers and keep it long enough to draw them into your business.
Although holograms are becoming more common, they are still rare enough to draw a crowd. A good example of this is Coca-Cola’s use of hologram technology during their “#bestcokeever” campaign. This campaign aimed to have as many people as possible try samples of their new Coke Zero Sugar flavour. As part of this campaign, the drinks company had a hologram system installed at Zurich Main Station that displayed a large slot machine game. Participants could win various prizes including bottles of the new flavour.
During the two weeks the hologram campaign was active at Zurich Main Station, over 18,000 people played the hologram game and 150,000 product samples were handed out.
Due to the scale of projects like the Coca-Cola campaign, it often makes sense for companies to rent the hologram technology and run it for a short period. An alternative that offers a much simpler set-up you can easily maintain, as well as more control over the content displayed, is a hanging window display.
These digital displays are designed to run 24/7 for a lifespan of over 50,000. This makes maintaining a hanging window very easy, as once it’s switched on you can just leave it to work.
With LamasaTech’s hanging window displays, you just need to connect to power and the Internet to download and start playing your content.
To make controlling your content even easier, you could use a digital signage platform, such as PeakSignage. This digital signage software allows you to create content and schedule what is displayed at any given time. Updates are made to your display instantly. If you notice an increased number of customers walking past your store you could quickly change the content from advertising a product to showing a new promotion to entice potential customers into your store. This gives you the opportunity to take advantage of sudden changes and possibly gain an increase in sales.
Entertainment and gaming
Holographic entertainment is no longer simply a science fiction dream. One of the most visible applications of this technology in recent years has been its use in concerts. Stars from the past can be resurrected to perform once again, and even accompany modern artists live on stage.
These displays can also be used for live performances where the musicians are not physically present, instead transmitting their image to appear before the audience.
In the area of gaming, holographic technology is being used by developers to create realistic characters. Surrounding a subject with cameras and sensors allows the developers to capture photorealistic models which then appear in their games. The cameras take shots of the subject from lots of angles, which means the models that appear in the game are fully 3D and interactive.
With the Fortnite developers adding real-life singers to their game to perform live concerts, the gaming industry is one of the leaders when it comes to interactive holograms.
These events and games can have incredibly high production costs due to the time and process of creating the digital image of the subjects. They also tend to be one-time events that people can miss out on, which can actively discourage them from engaging with the business again.
An alternative that offers the opportunity for interactivity and encourages customers to return is a freestanding kiosk. These kiosks can be made to work either indoors or outdoor depending on your need. The touch screen lets the user interact with the content being presented, for example, it could be a game that promotes your business with high scores being shown encouraging the users to come back and beat the record.
Indoor and outdoor kiosks don’t require the lengthy production time for their content that a hologram would. Using digital signage software, such as PeakSignage, you can instantly change what is being displayed on the screen.
In the classroom
One of the most exciting applications of holograms is the improvement of the educational experience. In order to engage students more fully, interactive digital lessons will be used in schools. This combination of digital and real-world information is known as mixed reality.
Complex subjects can be taught using holographic images that students can interact with and examine. For example, pupils can virtually explore the ruins of an ancient building during history lessons, or observe individual atomic particles and how they behave.
Hologram technology will likely be beyond many schools’ currently due to the cost of the equipment and the training time required for teachers to become comfortable working with this technology. An example of an alternative solution would be The National Centre for the Written Word’s installation at The Word.
The Word is a state-of-the-art cultural venue that uses technology to provide interactive and engaging learning experiences. LamasaTech worked with the local council to help meet the project’s bespoke needs. This included products such as a digital media wall, interactive touch tables, high-specification projectors and speakers.
Pupils are able to engage with the topics they are learning about through the use of the various types of interactive technology available at The Word. Teachers have found that pupils produce more, better-quality work during lessons as a result of their surroundings.
The benefit for the schools is that they can expose their students to a variety of technology which would be out of their budge to deploy in-house. For a low cost, they can take their students to The Word and have them experience interactive learning.
At LamasaTech we provide high-quality technology and expert guidance. Get in touch today to arrange a consultation.