Ultimate Guide to 3D Holographic Technology: Applications and How it Works

Imagine a world where you can see objects and animations come to life in three dimensions. This is made possible through the fascinating technology of holography, also known as 3D holographic technology. 

Holography is an advanced form of photography that records the light emitted by an object and projects it as a three-dimensional (3D) object. Users can view it without the need for any additional equipment. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the intricacies of holographic technology. How it works, and its wide range of applications in various industries.

What is 3D Holographic Technology?

Holographic technology is a revolutionary photography technique. It creates a 3D projection of an object using light or laser beams visible to the human eye. Unlike traditional photography, holograms do not require the use of glasses, cameras, or any equipment to view these 3D objects.

The beauty of holographic displays lies in their ability to create the illusion of an authentic object that can move and float in the air as you rotate around it. This technology has the potential to transform the way we present and interact with digital content.

From transmission holograms to rainbow holograms and the latest 3D holograms, various types of holograms have emerged. 

The most captivating aspect of 3D holograms is their ability to make seemingly real objects or animations appear to hover in mid-air or stand on a nearby surface. 

Users can view these holograms from all sides, allowing users to explore and construct realistic-looking images. The concept of holograms has fascinated technology and entertainment companies as well as consumers ever since Jules Verne first proposed the idea in 1893.

How Does Holographic Technology Work?

Holographic technology operates on the principle of interference patterns created by the interaction of laser beams. Here’s a simplified explanation of how it works:

1. Beam Splitting

A laser light beam is split into two identical beams. One of these beams is directed at the object, while the other is spread across the recording media (also known as the object beam and the illumination beam, respectively). 

The second beam is deflected onto the recording device without passing through the object, using mirrors.

2. Interference Pattern

The two laser beams collide and interfere with each other in the recording medium, such as photographic plates. The scales then capture interference patterns, creating a hologram.

3. 3D Reconstruction

To create a 3D holographic image, there are three types of images needed.

  • Sequential recording from different angles or multi-camera capture
  • Transformation of recorded data into a display-friendly format
  • Displaying data from multiple Spatial Light Modulators (SLMs) to enhance the viewing angle.

To project a 3D image in mid-air, a 3D object reconstruction device, and aerial projection equipment are required. The reconstruction device creates a three-dimensional holographic image, while the aerial projection device generates the hologram in mid-air. 

Electro-holography is a technique that can display 3D images without the need for multiple projectors or complex mechanical processing. It involves using a rotating mirror system to display a true 3D image. By directing a high-speed video projector at spinning mirrors that reflect in all directions, 3D graphics can be seen from any angle.

You can create different types of holograms depending on the recording technique. A monochromatic hologram is made by capturing interference patterns with a single wavelength of light, while a color hologram is created by recording multiple interference patterns with various wavelengths. 

Holographic projectors then illuminate the corresponding interference patterns for their respective colors using lasers of different wavelengths.

Applications of Holographic Technology

Holographic technology has a broad range of applications across various industries, thanks to its ability to maintain the depth and parallax of the original object. Let’s explore some of the key applications of holographic technology:

1. Promotion and Entertainment

Holograms are used by marketing executives to showcase a product’s features and details from different viewing angles. In the entertainment industry, holograms have been employed to create posthumous performances of artists, such as the holographic concert of Michael Jackson to promote his Xscape album in 2014. 

They have also been used in live performances, like the hologram of injured BTS member Suga at the Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA 2020).

2. Imaging and Medicine

Holographic technology has the potential to revolutionize medicine by creating full-color 3D holograms of the human body. 

Medical professionals and students can visualize complex organs such as the brain, heart, liver, and lungs in three dimensions, aiding in surgical planning and enhancing understanding. 

Digital holographic microscopy enables cell counting and investigation of subcellular movements within live tissue.

3. Telecommunications

The telecommunications industry has been actively working on developing holographic video-calling experiences. 

In 2017, Verizon and KT made the world’s first live international holographic call, taking it a step further by using a 3D display on a monitor. 

Virtual projection technology has also emerged, with companies like Portal creating automated booths equipped with speakers, microphones, and cameras, allowing for interactive holographic communication.

4. Fan Type Holograms

Fan-type holograms combine miniature propellers with high-tech RGB LEDs to create 3D images. The Hypervsn Wall takes this technology to the next level, generating full HD images over 3 meters tall that appear to float in the air.

5. Holograms using Light Field Display

LCD screen advancements have led to the development of machines like the HoloPlayer One, which sends 32 views of a scene simultaneously to create a “field of light.” When you combine it with a depth-sensing camera, you can interact with these holograms, similar to natural objects or touchscreens.

6. No-hologram

This form of hologram technology, popularized by artist Joanie Lemercier, uses 2D projections and motion sensors to create high-definition and lifelike 3D images. Users don’t need headsets or screens, as the technology monitors the viewer’s movements.

7. Education

Holographic technology has the potential to greatly enhance the educational environment by enabling interactive digital instruction. 

Students can explore and interact with holographic images to better understand complex subjects. For example, in history, students can view atomic particles or examine ancient cultural structures.

8. Military

Holographic technology assists in studying surgical locations and planning military operations. It provides a detailed understanding of critical entry and exit points, enhancing decision-making and safety.

9. Storage of Data

Holographic data storage methods allow for storing vast amounts of information in high-density crystals or polymers. This type of data storage utilizes the entire volume of the recording medium, offering potential advantages over traditional storage systems. 

Holographic storage has the potential to become the storage medium of the future, with faster writing speeds and increased data storage capacity.

10. Data Mining

Holographic memory’s advancements in access times and data storage capacity can greatly improve data mining, the process of discovering patterns in massive volumes of data. 

By providing more precise and faster pattern recognition, holographic storage can significantly enhance data mining techniques.


The future of holographic technology is promising, with advancements in holographic memory offering additional dimensions to stored data. 

However, the widespread adoption of holograms in home computers may still be challenging due to the high cost of optical equipment. Holographic memory will be utilized in next-generation supercomputers when the cost becomes less of a concern.

While magnetic storage devices remain the most cost-effective storage medium, holographic memory offers several advantages over traditional storage systems. The parallel nature of holographic memory allows for faster data access and increased storage capacity. 

However, further advancements in optical technology and photosensitive materials are necessary to fully integrate holograms into computer systems. As technology continues to evolve, holographic technology holds immense potential for transforming various industries and revolutionizing our digital experiences.

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