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Zebra Imaging Creates 3-D Holographic Maps, Glasses Not Required [Video]

These mindblowing holographic prints make buildings literally pop off the page — no headache-inducing eyewear necessary.

Remember that scene in Avatar where the Marines gather around a giant 3D map of Pandora to plot their invasion? Thanks to Zebra Imaging, that’s not just sci-fi anymore. The company makes holographic maps that, according to the company, have been “utilized by the US military overseas for visualization and defense planning applications.”

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Here’s a a video of some of their images in action. You’ll have to pinch yourself to believe it’s not a special effect.

But Zebra doesn’t just make maps to help the Army blow stuff up real good. They’re also widely used for forensic investigations of accident sites, as well as for designing urban infrastructure and architecture.

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ZScape? holograms of 3D data captured from HD Laser Scanning allow forensic examination and presentation of accident or crime scenes. (Image courtesy of Zebra Imaging, Leica Geosystems & Precision Simulations, Inc.)

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Engineering & construction companies use prints to visualize complicated 3D projects such as refineries and power plants. (Image courtesy of Zebra Imaging & NET Engineering S.p.A.)

F*cking holograms: how do they work? Science geeks can read up on it “>here, but the short version — according to Zebra’s co-founder, Michael Klug — is that the company can laser-encode any kind of 3D imaging data (from a CAD application, for example) into a thin sheet of plastic that’ll display the full-color image in three dimensions from any angle, under normal lighting.

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It’s intuitive, rugged, and — at $3500 for a 2′ x 3′ print — actually kind of a steal, at least compared to a giant table-sized computer (that wouldn’t even display in 3D anyway). I think Co.Design should get one for the break room.

[Read more at Zebra Imaging]

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About the author

John Pavlus is a writer and filmmaker focusing on science, tech, and design topics. His writing has appeared in Wired, New York, Scientific American, Technology Review, BBC Future, and other outlets

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