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.”
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.
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.
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.