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NOT holography !

The term '3D' of the beginning of the 21st century is now passé. It ceased to be commercial enough and it is now mostly associated with 3D-printing. And along with it went the 3D television sets (active or passive) whereas the numbers at the box-office for 3D movie shows are in a downward spiral. And now what? Now came the turn of 'holography' as the next commercial catching term with a futuristic allure expressing the social and cultural need for life-realistic representation of the physical world.

And suddenly all became... 'holographic'.

Help Me Obi-Wan Kenobi

From virtual holographic assistants at airports to augmented reality applications and devices of Microsoft, Google, Sony and the like. From lenticular printing to laser-etched crystals and from CNN TV-News studio broadcasts to deceased artists reappearing on stage. From the new holographic movie halls in the USA to reflective pyramids and cubes to stereoscopic portable devices (cell-phones, monitors, game-machines). Even Hollywood film industry stepped in with a motion picture titled 'Hologram for the King' !  

But are all these applications related to display holography? The answer is ...hardly at all. Simply, this is NOT holography -or better say- only by name since 'holography' as a seemingly more sophisticated term appears to enhance commercial attraction. In reality, these are mostly based on various stereoscopic projection effects or the digital reincarnation of well-known theatrical tricks of the early 19th century.

The unconditional use of the term 'holography' has added to the confusion in semantics of the non-scientific general public to such an extent that the Int'l Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA) has often tried to intervene -though practically in vain. [Watch here a presentation on the subject by Dr. Mark Deakes, Secretary of the ΙΗΜΑ, from the recent  Holography Conference 2016 in Warsaw]. So has the international community of holographers to the point where even a thematic page on Facebook (see below) titled "This Is Not a Hologram" is being regularly updated as novel 'holographic' gadgets and techniques make their debut in the fast-changing digital arena !

Facebook "This is Not A Hologram"