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Beyond Star Wars: Professor Tim Willkinson explains Holographic Projection Displays

You can now watch Professor Tim Wilkinson debunk some myths about holograms in a livestream recording of an Intellectual Forum event for the Cambridge Science Festival.

On 12 March 2019, the Intellectual Forum welcomed Professor Tim Wilkinson, Professor of Photonic Engineering at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Jesus College, to talk about his work on holographic projection displays.

Professor Wilkinson began by seting the record straight on holograms. He explained to a packed audience that one of the most iconic examples of the technology in popular culture—Princess Leia projected in three dimensions from R2D2 in Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)—is in fact not a hologram. He shared a number of other examples of how the term is misused and what a hologram really is.

Those in attendance were pleased to be shown various examples of holographic displays, seeing everything from vintage holograms to the latest 3D holographic headsets. The audience was also treated to a discussion of what might lie in the future for this technology. VividQ provided those in attendance the opportunity to personally try their revolutionary headset prototype and to experience their software suite for 3D holographic display.

Dr Julian Huppert, Director of the Intellectual Forum, said of the event: "We were so pleased to have Tim and VividQ with us, and to showcase the state-of-the-art equipment being developed in conjunction with some of Cambridge's academics and students".

Professor Wilkinson said: "'Hologram' is a greatly misused term in modern technology - it was great to be able to share what they are really about". 

The livestream of this event is available to watch now.

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