Geospatial Holograms

A firm called Zebra Imaging tells us about "geospatial holograms"—including the awesome handheld flashlight-sized projector seen below.

[Images: All images courtesy of Zebra Imaging].

Heavily pitching this as a military technology, citing its usefulness in "battle-space visualization" and "line-of-site analysis for sniper activity," Zebra seems to under-appreciate the intense levels of interest this thing might generate in the civilian sphere. Hook one of these up to a projector phone and shine 3D holograms of urban space all around you. 3D narrative films of the future!
    Geospatial holograms used in commercial and government applications typically enhance conventional 2D maps, aerial photos, and 3D physical scale models. Complex environments can be well understood using geospatial holograms much faster than with conventional 2D media.
But imagine the gaming possibilities with this thing, let alone the architectural applications: you step up to the front of the class and shine a hologram of your final thesis project onto the blank tabletop before you... Architectural lightsabers.

I don't at all doubt the usefulness of portable holograms when it comes to invading enemy cities, but I have to wonder what a few games design students in New York or San Francisco could do with this.

Replace all the streetlights on 5th Avenue next year with Zebra Imaging technology and, instead of Christmas decorations, baroque mansions shine in holographic 3D... a new one every half-block for more than a mile, outlined against winter snow.

Or fly black airships over Rome and shine holograms of missing buildings down onto the city below you, ancient walls reappearing in a Batman-like flicker of urban unreality, people looking out their windows, stunned, at this laser archaeology from the sky.

(Link originally spotted via @geoparadigm).

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3 Comments:

Blogger custardbydesign said...

this is almost like advanced google-maps in a way...

3d hologramming...looks interesting...

December 21, 2009 12:42 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

The green light source / hologram projector is deceiving. Some of my coworkers have worked with this company to create some architectural mock-ups and while it was effective in creating a dramatic moment in the office, it was no different than an enlarged 3d sticker you used to have as a kid. As you see in their concept images you can only visualize the hologram on the green plastic sheet. The projector has no actual influence on the hologram, its just a bulb that enhances the contrast of the printed image. That being said, It is still interesting to walk around and see the "back" of a 3d model that's been embedded into a flat sheet.

December 21, 2009 2:57 PM  
Blogger Geoff Manaugh said...

Mike, that's disappointing! But holographic sidewalk paving still presents an interesting possibility...

December 30, 2009 2:48 PM  

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