If there is one thing from science fiction most believed would have become a reality by now, it is hologram technology. How far along are we?
It may not surprise you to learn we still have not managed to achieve hologram the same way we see in science fiction movies. We expect to see a three-dimensional image projection in empty air space. However, we have not figured out the execution. We can project green lasers on smoke or mist to create an image, effectively using particles in the air to reflect the light mid-air and collectively forms a two-dimensional image.
Mini-drones with LED lights attached to them can be programmed to fly in the air and together create wondrous three-dimensional outlines as seen in the Olympics and other major sporting events. Not precisely a hologram, but that is as close to a real-world hologram technology for now. Not to say, society or humanity has given up in its pursuit of hologram technology, far from it. Many modern applications pave the way for holograms, some of which have come amazingly close to the real thing.
More cars on the road have augmented displays on the dashboard, which shows information such as speed, gear, mileage and even battery level. Augmented dashboard display is a form of holographic technology; light projected from the dashboard is reflected on the car windshield from the inside and directs an image towards your eye. This technology is somewhere in between a TV projector and real-life two-dimensional hologram.
We predict when we finally figure out how to project an image in mid-air, the first form of hologram projections will be two-dimensional. Mainly because it is much easier to execute and more straightforward to program, and not far after that, we will begin to see three-dimensional projections. Hopefully, that happens in our lifetime; a three-dimensional cinema experience is going to feel exhilarating. However, it would be difficult to predict how holographic technology will take off in the future. Home entertainment may never be the same again.