Nav: Home

Lightning fast algorithms can lighten the load of 3D hologram generation

June 06, 2020

Tokyo, Japan - Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University have developed a new way of calculating simple holograms for heads-up displays (HUDs) and near-eye displays (NEDs). The method is up to 56 times faster than conventional algorithms and does not require power-hungry graphics processing units (GPUs), running on normal computing cores like those found in PCs. This opens the way to developing compact, power-efficient, next-gen augmented reality devices, including 3D navigation on car windshields and eyewear.

The term hologram may still have a sci-fi ring to it, but holography, the science of making records of light in 3D, is used everywhere, from microscopy, fraud prevention on banknotes to state-of-the-art data storage. Everywhere, that is, except for its most obvious offering: truly 3D displays. The deployment of truly 3D displays that don't need special glasses is yet to become widespread. Recent advances have seen virtual reality (VR) technologies make their way into the market, but the vast majority rely on optical tricks that convince the human eye to see things in 3D. This is not always feasible and limits its scope.

One of the reasons for this is that generating the hologram of arbitrary 3D objects is a computationally heavy exercise. This makes every calculation slow and power-hungry, a serious limitation when you want to display large 3D images that change in real-time. The vast majority require specialized hardware like graphics processing units (GPUs), the energy-guzzling chips that power modern gaming. This severely limits where 3D displays can be deployed.

Thus, a team led by Assistant Professor Takashi Nishitsuji looked at how holograms were calculated. They realized that not all applications needed a full rendering of 3D polygons. By solely focusing on drawing the edge around 3D objects, they succeeded in significantly reducing the computational load of hologram calculations. In particular, they could avoid using Fast-Fourier Transforms (FFTs), the intensive math routines powering holograms for full polygons. The team combined simulation data with real experiments by displaying their holograms on a spatial light modulator (SLM) and illuminating them with laser light to produce a real 3D image. At high resolution, they found that their method could calculate holograms up to 56 times faster, and that the images compared favorably to those made using slower, conventional methods. Importantly, the team only used a normal PC computing core with no standalone graphics processing unit, making the whole process significantly less resource hungry.

Faster calculations on simpler cores means lighter, more compact, power-efficient devices that can be used in a wider range of settings. The team have their sights set on heads-up displays (HUDs) on car windshields for navigation, and even augmented reality eyewear to relay instructions on hands-on technical procedures, both exciting prospects for the not too distant future.
-end-
This work was supported by the Kenjiro Takayanagi Foundation, the Inoue Foundation for Science and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (19H01097, 19K21536, 20K19810).

Tokyo Metropolitan University

Related Holograms Articles:

Lightning fast algorithms can lighten the load of 3D hologram generation
Tokyo, Japan - Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University have developed a new way of calculating simple holograms for heads-up displays (HUDs) and near-eye displays (NEDs).
Black holes? They are like a hologram
Spherical, smooth and simple according to the theory of relativity, or extremely complex and full of information as, according to quantum laws, Stephen Hawking used to say?
Using holograms helps in studying the quality of composite materials
Composite materials have a complicated structure and specified mechanical or physical properties.
As seen in movies, new meta-hologram can be used as a communication tool
Junsuk Rho and his research team developed a multiplexed meta-hologram device operating at visible light.
New printer creates extremely realistic colorful holograms
Researchers have developed a new printer that produces digital 3D holograms with an unprecedented level of detail and realistic color.
Ultra-thin optical elements directly measure polarization
For the first time, researchers have used ultra-thin layers of 2D structures known as metasurfaces to create holograms that can measure the polarization of light.
3D holograms bringing astronomy to life
Scientists unravelling the mysteries of star cluster formation have taken inspiration from a 19th century magic trick, to help explain their work to the public.
New holographic technique opens the way for quantum computation
EPFL physicists have developed a method based on the principles of holograms to capture 3D images of objects beyond the reach of light.
A hole in one for holographic display
Researchers in Korea have designed an ultra-thin display that can project dynamic, multi-colored, 3D holographic images, according to a study published in Nature Communications.
Physicists create Star Wars style holograms
For many years we have heard that holographic technology is one step closer to realizing Star Trek's famous Holodeck, a virtual reality stage that simulate any object in 3D as if they are real.
More Holograms News and Holograms Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Processing The Pandemic
Between the pandemic and America's reckoning with racism and police brutality, many of us are anxious, angry, and depressed. This hour, TED Fellow and writer Laurel Braitman helps us process it all.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#568 Poker Face Psychology
Anyone who's seen pop culture depictions of poker might think statistics and math is the only way to get ahead. But no, there's psychology too. Author Maria Konnikova took her Ph.D. in psychology to the poker table, and turned out to be good. So good, she went pro in poker, and learned all about her own biases on the way. We're talking about her new book "The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself, and Win".
Now Playing: Radiolab

Invisible Allies
As scientists have been scrambling to find new and better ways to treat covid-19, they've come across some unexpected allies. Invisible and primordial, these protectors have been with us all along. And they just might help us to better weather this viral storm. To kick things off, we travel through time from a homeless shelter to a military hospital, pondering the pandemic-fighting power of the sun. And then, we dive deep into the periodic table to look at how a simple element might actually be a microbe's biggest foe. This episode was reported by Simon Adler and Molly Webster, and produced by Annie McEwen and Pat Walters. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.