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How Do Holographic Ads Work?

Jul 11th, 2016

Holography is a technique used to record light patterns that are then reproduced as three-dimensional images called holograms.

Holographic Ads

The hologram was invented by Dennis Gabor, a Hungarian physicist, in 1947, but the new technology available today provides some amazing merits to both everyday consumers and businesses alike, especially advertisers.

How the technology works

3D holographic is a projection technology that revolves around an illusionary technique known as “Pepper’s Ghost” that was first used in Victorian theatres throughout London in the 1860s. This illusionary technique was primarily used to develop ghostlike creations on stage.

Basically, an actor wearing a ghostly costume would stay hidden from the audience while standing and facing a plate of glass placed at an angle. Although the audience would have full-view of the glass, the actor could remain hidden. Owing to advances in CGI technology and HD projection, 3D holographic projection changed itself from its simple Victorian origins into a revolutionary audio-visual display that global corporations are proud to use.

3D holographic projection offers an infinite number of holographic possibilities, from blockbuster-style special effects to life-like humans. A holoprojector uses holographic technology to project high-resolution images of a large size onto a number of different surfaces using various focal distances, from a fairly small projection device.

Basically, the holographic display creates a virtual 3D image of an object using light diffraction. It is different from other kinds of 3D imaging since it does not require the viewer to use special glasses or other kind of external equipment to view the images.

Technologies used in holographic screens include:

  • Laser – Most holograms today use a laser as the source of light, whereby the laser is directed to a screen and then reflected onto the recording equipment. Part of the laser acts as a reference beam by shining directly onto a specific area of the screen. This reference beam provides the recording apparatus with vital information, including background light, beam profile, and picture angle. The image must be processed to address variations in picture quality before it can be transmitted to the screen.
  • Electron Holography – These are digital displays that relay stored image data via an electromagnetic resonator. The transmitted signals are interpreted by an acousto-optic modulator before being converted into an executable format for display via an RGB laser monitor. Compared to traditional displays, electro holographic displays offer superior range of colour and picture accuracy.

Giant advertisers like BMW, Nike, Nokia, and Coca Cola have been using holographic displays for years. A recent example was in 2013 when Nike installed multiple holographic displays around Amsterdam displaying 3D models of its footwear. There will probably be more of these holographic ads considering their ability to grasp attention.


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