Inspiration - I wanted to create something relatively user-friendly and simple; something that captivates and is accessible to a wide audience. I remember watching Star Wars as a little kid, and thinking how cool it would be if R2D2's hologram messages were real. Well, it's 2016 now, so I am doing my part!
What it does - We've created a 3 dimensional hologram projector.
How we built it - We built the main hologram chamber by cutting and taping together four plexiglass panels. We are using 2 video projectors and a computer monitor to construct the 3-dimensional imagine within the chamber. The projectors are held in place atop the hologram chamber by a thin sheet of cloth and a plane of cardboard. The projected images are cast through the plexiglass onto a white backdrop, which then reflects the image back into the chamber as a hologram.
Challenges we ran into - Originally we were planning to create the hologram effect by positioning the chamber atop a single large monitor; the hologram would be created by four images shone on the monitor, stitched together within the chamber. Unfortunately, the monitor that we brought was significantly too small and we were forced to improvise! We noticed that the fine folks over at the ZTE booth had a couple small video projectors and asked if we could borrow them. Having never used projectors, it took us a while to come up with the current design. We quickly realized that the images created by the projectors were too bright and passed through the plexiglass, rather than reflected off of the glass and captured within the chamber. We thought that it might work if we reflected the images off of a mirror and back into the chamber, so we walked to Target and bought two large mirrors. Funnily enough, the white background on the back of the mirrors worked much better than the mirrors themselves!
Accomplishments that we're proud of - We are proud of our resiliency! The project that we ended up with is far from the project that we originally had planned. In true DIY fashion, we utilized a bunch of random objects that were lying around to create much of the structure.
What we learned - We learned that there are multiple ways to construct a hologram; I have not personally seen a hologram created using the method that we came up with.
What's next for Hologram-Recorder-Projection-Framework - The applications are seemingly endless! We imagine a world where skype has a hologram feature; where google maps takes you through a hologram model of the city; where live human holograms replace manikins in department stores!