Plain old video calls could soon be made to look very outdated, thanks to new research coming out of Queen’s University in Ontario. A team there has produced a 3D teleconferencing system called TeleHuman 2, which enables real-time holograms of people to appear in any location.
Imagine being stood in a meeting and having a 3D projection of your boss or client appear in the middle of the floor – a projection that moves and talks just like a flesh-and-blood human, and which you can view from any angle. Think the holodeck from Star Trek, and you’re close to what the TeleHuman 2 is capable of.
On the capture side, an array of depth cameras are used to monitor a participant’s movements in three dimensions, data that’s then beamed across to a ring of intelligent projectors in another room in an entirely different location. The holographic images are then projected into a retro-reflective, human-sized cylindrical pod.
It’s all based around light field technology – capturing and projecting the intensity of light and the direction that light rays are traveling through space. A conventional camera system only deals in the intensity of light, without the 3D element.