/ Modified nov 3, 2010 4:04 p.m.

Sci-fi Holograms Become Reality

University of Arizona researchers devise new 3D image technology

UA researcher Nasser Peyghambarian and a holographic image of an F-4 Phantom Jet

Even the least enthusiastic Star Wars viewer remembers Princess Leia's plea: the blue, begging hologram made for a striking scene. Now researchers are bridging the gap between her sci-fi communication and real-life technology. Researchers in the University of Arizona's College of Optical Sciences have developed a special screen that can beam 3-dimensional images from one location to another with a simple Ethernet connection, no special glasses required. The research team's leader, optical sciences professor Nasser Peyghambarian, spoke with AZPM's Pam White about the discovery. Listen:

The team reports its findings online today in the journal Nature. They hope to hone the technology so it can be used in applications ranging from telemedicine to conference calls. The breakthrough "may revolutionalize the future of 3-D display technology," says optics researcher Yeshaiahu Fainman of the University of California, San Diego, who was not involved in the study.

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