A poor man's hologram

Issued: Thu, 20 Jun 2013 11:46:00 BST

Three-dimensional films have been a hit at the box office, but making them requires pricey equipment. Baoqing Sun at the University of Glasgow, UK, and his colleagues propose a simpler alternative. Instead of using cameras or lasers to achieve a three-dimensional (3D) effect, they illuminate an object with a rapidly changing pattern of black and white squares. Single-pixel detectors placed around the object capture light reflected in various directions, and an algorithm reconstructs a 3D image from these simple inputs.

Although the scheme takes several minutes to image a stationary object, it is cheaper than current 3D systems. In addition, it should work for wavelengths such as the far infrared that are beyond the reach of current technology.

Read more in Nature