Renaissance in Holography: Reshaping What’s Possible with Luminit Technologies

Submitted on Tue, 06/21/2016 - 17:18

by Luminit Staff

Advances in holographic materials, lasers, and digital computing, combined with quickly accelerating AR and VR markets, are breathing new life into the decades-old field of holography. While widespread practical applications for holography have been slow out of the gate, holographically-based products spearheaded  by Luminit are benefitting more industries now than you may think.

Light Shaping Diffusers at Work

A prime example of practical uses for holographic technology are Luminit Light Shaping Diffusers® (LSDs), commonly known as holographic diffusers. Light Shaping Diffusers embed holographic patterns on polycarbonate or polyester sheets or film. These patterns create a random surface that can manipulate photonic energy in order to diffuse, shape, and/or redirect a light source. This allows engineers to shrink much larger and thicker optics into an optical element as thin as a film.

Such attributes are quite useful to lighting engineers and designers working with energy-efficient but highly directional LED light sources. Beam shaping, for example, is a popular application for LSDs in exterior/interior lighting, stages and concert halls, as well as for high-powered projection systems and lasers. Visit the Natural History Museum in London or the Gateway Arch in St. Louis at night and you’ll see lighting shaped by our LSDs; the next time you’re in traffic and notice a uniform LED tail light  as opposed to harsh, pixelated and bright LEDs, there’s a good chance you’re seeing a Luminit LSD working its magic.

    diffusers used on natural history museum    diffusers used on st Louis arch

 The  Natural History Museum in London and the Gateway Arch are just some of the famous places that benefit from Luminit’s holographic diffuser technology.

HOEs in Wearables and Automotive

Luminit scientists have also made significant advances in Holographic Optical Elements (HOE) technology. Holographic Optical Elements perform the function of optical components such as lenses, gratings, image masks and mirrors, using only a thin, transparent photopolymer film that can be applied to glass or plastic surfaces. The efficient design makes Luminit HOE ideal for heads up displays as well as smart glasses, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Other areas being explored include HOEs for solar concentrators, optical sensors, spectrometers and high capacity recording memory.

    HOE used for car welcome matts  holography for helmet visors

Applications for Luminit HOE include automotive interior and exterior lighting as well as HUDs and HMDs.

CGH: The Next Step Forward

Computer Generated Holography (CGH) is also emerging as an option for image reconstruction—both 2D and 3D. Luminit has made significant advances with CGH and is currently working with automotive manufacturers to implement the technology within vehicle interiors such as welcome mats.

The implementation of Computer Generated Holography starts with a desired image defined digitally and computes the possible hologram structure using sophisticated mathematical tools, all manipulated by a computer. The entire design process is only limited by imagination. The manufacturing, on the other hand, has advantages over traditional holography by avoiding the two-beam interference method. Instead, a repetitive method of serial production in clean rooms can be applied utilizing pixel by pixel recording on regular glass substrates. Upon illumination, the hologram manifests any image for which it was designed. 

Because of its ability to produce full-depth-cue 3D images floating in space without the need of special eyewear, computer generated holography is considered to be the ultimate display technology for future by some. While challenges such as excess information exceeding pixel capacity and optimal algorithms for the best representation still remain, computer generated holograms are likely to dominate future display technology.

     

computer generated hologram  3D logo

An intensity CGH pattern represented on the hologram surface to create a desired image such as a logo floating in space that requires no extra instruments to see.

Holography has been the cornerstone of Luminit technology for over 10 years, and we continue to bring this fascinating side of optics into the world around us. For more information on Luminit LSD, HOE and CGH technologies, contact sales@luminitco.com 

 Luminit staff members who contributed to this blog include Dr. Alkan Gulses, Dr. Fedor Dimov, Dr. Engin Arik and Suleyman Turgut