volumetric display
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A volumetric display device is a
display device A display device is an output device for presentation of information in visual or Touch, tactile form (the latter used for example in Refreshable Braille display, tactile electronic displays for blind people). When the input information that is su ...
that forms a visual representation of an object in three physical dimensions, as opposed to the planar image of traditional screens that simulate depth through a number of different visual effects. One definition offered by pioneers in the field is that volumetric displays create 3D imagery via the emission, scattering, or relaying of illumination from well-defined regions in (x,y,z) space. A true volumetric display produces in the observer a visual experience of a material object in three-dimensional space, even though no such object is present. The perceived object displays characteristics similar to an actual material object by allowing the observer to view it from any direction, to focus a camera on a specific detail, and to see perspective – meaning that the parts of the image closer to the viewer appear larger than those further away. Volumetric
3D display A 3D display is a display device capable of conveying depth perception, depth to the viewer. Many 3D displays are stereoscopic displays, which produce a basic 3D effect by means of stereopsis, but can cause eye strain and visual fatigue. Newer ...
s are technically not autostereoscopic, even though they create three-dimensional imagery visible to the unaided eye. This is because the displays do not generate stereoscopic images; They naturally provide focally-accurate holographic wavefronts to the eyes. Due to this, they have accurate characteristics of material objects such as focal depth,
motion parallax Parallax is a displacement or difference in the apparent position of an object viewed along two different sightline, lines of sight and is measured by the angle or semi-angle of inclination between those two lines. Due to perspective (graphica ...
, and
vergence A vergence is the simultaneous eye movement (sensory), movement of both human eye, eyes in opposite directions to obtain or maintain single binocular vision. When a creature with binocular vision looks at an object, the eyes must rotate around ...

vergence
. Volumetric displays are one of several kinds of 3D displays. Other types are
stereoscopes
stereoscopes
, view-sequential displays, electro-holographic displays, "two view" displays, and panoramagrams. Although first postulated in 1912, and a staple of
science fiction Science fiction (sometimes shortened to Sci-Fi or SF) is a genre of speculative fiction which typically deals with imagination, imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, Paral ...

science fiction
, volumetric displays are still not widely used in everyday life. There are numerous potential markets for volumetric displays with use cases including medical imaging, mining, education, advertising, simulation, video games, communication and geophysical visualisation. When compared to other 3D visualisation tools such as
virtual reality Virtual reality (VR) is a Simulation, simulated experience that employs pose tracking and 3D near-eye displays to give the user an immersive feel of a virtual world. Applications of virtual reality include entertainment (particularly video g ...

virtual reality
, volumetric displays offer an inherently different mode of interaction, providing the opportunity for a group of people to gather around the display and interact in a natural manner without having to don 3D glasses or other head gear.


Types

Many different attempts have been made to produce volumetric imaging devices. There is no officially accepted "
taxonomy Taxonomy is the practice and science of categorization or classification (general theory), classification. A taxonomy (or taxonomical classification) is a scheme of classification, especially a hierarchical classification, in which things are ...
" of the variety of volumetric displays, an issue which is complicated by the many
permutation In mathematics, a permutation of a Set (mathematics), set is, loosely speaking, an arrangement of its members into a sequence or linear order, or if the set is already ordered, a rearrangement of its elements. The word "permutation" also refers ...

permutation
s of their characteristics. For example, illumination within a volumetric display can either reach the eye directly from the source or via an intermediate surface such as a mirror or glass; likewise, this surface, which need not be tangible, can undergo motion such as oscillation or rotation. One categorization is as follows:


Swept-volume display

Swept-surface (or "swept-volume") volumetric 3D displays rely on the human
persistence of vision Persistence of vision traditionally refers to the optical illusion that occurs when visual perception of an object does not cease for some time after the rays of light proceeding from it have ceased to enter the eye. The illusion has also been d ...
to fuse a series of slices of the 3D object into a single 3D image. A variety of swept-volume displays have been created. For example, the 3D scene is computationally decomposed into a series of "slices", which can be rectangular, disc-shaped, or helically cross-sectioned, whereupon they are projected onto or from a display surface undergoing motion. The image on the 2D surface (created by projection onto the surface, LEDs embedded in the surface, or other techniques) changes as the surface moves or rotates. Due to the persistence of vision, humans perceive a continuous volume of light. The display surface can be reflective, transmissive, or a combination of both. Another type of 3D display that is a candidate member of the class of swept-volume 3D displays is the varifocal mirror architecture. One of the first references to this type of system is from 1966, in which a vibrating mirrored drumhead reflects a series of patterns from a high-frame-rate 2D image source, such as a vector display, to a corresponding set of depth surfaces. An example of a commercially available Swept-volume display is th
Voxon Photonics
VX1. This display has a volume area that is 18cm * 18cm * 8cm deep and can render up to 500 million voxels per second. Content for the VX1 can be created using Unity or using standard 3D file types such as OBJ, STL and DICOM for medical imaging.


Static volume

So-called "static-volume" volumetric 3D displays create imagery without any macroscopic moving parts in the image volume. It is unclear whether the rest of the system must remain stationary for membership in this display class to be viable. This is probably the most "direct" form of volumetric display. In the simplest case, an addressable volume of space is created out of active elements that are transparent in the ''off'' state but are either opaque or luminous in the ''on'' state. When the elements (called
voxel In 3D computer graphics, a voxel represents a value on a regular grid in three-dimensional space. As with pixels in a 2D bitmap, voxels themselves do not typically have their position (i.e. coordinates) explicitly encoded with their values. Ins ...

voxel
s) are activated, they show a solid pattern within the space of the display. Several static-volume volumetric 3D displays use laser light to encourage visible radiation in a solid, liquid, or gas. For example, some researchers have relied on two-step upconversion within a
rare-earth The rare-earth elements (REE), also called the rare-earth metals or (in context) rare-earth oxides or sometimes the lanthanides (yttrium and scandium are usually included as rare earths), are a set of 17 nearly-indistinguishable lustrous silve ...
- doped material when illuminated by intersecting infrared laser beams of the appropriate frequencies. Recent advances have focused on non-tangible (free-space) implementations of the static-volume category, which might eventually allow direct interaction with the display. For instance, a fog display using multiple projectors can render a 3D image in a volume of space, resulting in a static-volume volumetric display. A technique presented in 2006 does away with the display medium altogether, using a focused
pulse In medicine, a pulse represents the tactile arterial palpation of the cardiac cycle (heartbeat) by trained fingertips. The pulse may be palpated in any place that allows an artery to be compressed near the surface of the body, such as at the nec ...
d
infrared Infrared (IR), sometimes called infrared light, is electromagnetic radiation (EMR) with wavelengths longer than those of Light, visible light. It is therefore invisible to the human eye. IR is generally understood to encompass wavelengths from ...
laser A laser is a device that emits light through a process of optical amplification based on the stimulated emission of electromagnetic radiation. The word "laser" is an acronym for "light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation". The fi ...
(about 100 pulses per second; each lasting a
nanosecond A nanosecond (ns) is a unit of time in the International System of Units (SI) equal to one billionth of a second, that is, of a second, or 10 seconds. The term combines the SI prefix ''nano-'' indicating a 1 billionth submultiple of an SI unit ( ...
) to create balls of glowing
plasma Plasma or plasm may refer to: Science * Plasma (physics) Plasma () 1, where \nu_ is the electron gyrofrequency and \nu_ is the electron collision rate. It is often the case that the electrons are magnetized while the ions are not. Magnetized ...
at the
focal point Focal point may refer to: * Focus (optics) In geometrical optics, a focus, also called an image point, is a point where ray (optics), light rays originating from a point on the object vergence (optics), converge. Although the focus is conce ...
in normal air. The focal point is directed by two moving
mirror A mirror or looking glass is an object that Reflection (physics), reflects an image. Light that bounces off a mirror will show an image of whatever is in front of it, when focused through the lens of the eye or a camera. Mirrors reverse the ...
s and a sliding
lens A lens is a transmissive optics, optical device which focuses or disperses a light beam by means of refraction. A simple lens consists of a single piece of transparent material, while a #Compound lenses, compound lens consists of several simp ...
, allowing it to draw shapes in the air. Each pulse creates a popping sound, so the device crackles as it runs. Currently it can generate dots anywhere within a cubic metre. It is thought that the device could be scaled up to any size, allowing 3D images to be generated in the sky. Later modifications such as the use of an neon/argon/xenon/helium gas mix similar to a plasma globe and a rapid gas recycling system employing a hood and vacuum pumps could allow this technology to achieve two-colour (R/W) and possibly RGB imagery by changing the pulse width and intensity of each pulse to tune the emission spectra of the luminous plasma body. In 2017, a new display known as the "3D Light PAD" was published.Patel, S. K.; Cao, J.; Lippert, A. R
"A Volumetric 3D Photoactivatable Dye Display"
Nature Commun. 2017, in press.
The display's medium consists of a class of photoactivatable molecules (known as spirhodamines) and digital light-processing (DLP) technology to generate structured light in three dimensions. The technique bypasses the need to use high-powered lasers and the generation of plasma, which alleviates concerns for safety and dramatically improves the accessibility of the three-dimensional displays. UV-light and green-light patterns are aimed at the dye solution, which initiates photoactivation and thus creates the "on" voxel. The device is capable of displaying a minimal voxel size of 0.68 mm3, with 200 μm resolution, and good stability over hundreds of on–off cycles.


Human–computer interfaces

The unique properties of volumetric displays, which may include 360-degree viewing, agreement of
vergence A vergence is the simultaneous eye movement (sensory), movement of both human eye, eyes in opposite directions to obtain or maintain single binocular vision. When a creature with binocular vision looks at an object, the eyes must rotate around ...

vergence
and accommodation cues, and their inherent "three-dimensionality", enable new
user interface techniques An interaction technique, user interface technique or input technique is a combination of hardware and software Software is a set of computer programs and associated software documentation, documentation and data (computing), data. This is ...
. There is recent work investigating the speed and accuracy benefits of volumetric displays, new graphical user interfaces, and medical applications enhanced by volumetric displays. Also, software platforms exist that deliver native and legacy 2D and 3D content to volumetric displays.


Artistic use

An artform called Hologlyphics has been explored since 1994, combining elements of
holography Holography is a technique that enables a wavefront to be recorded and later re-constructed. Holography is best known as a method of generating real three-dimensional images, but it also has a wide range of other Holography#Applications, applic ...
,
music Music is generally defined as the The arts, art of arranging sound to create some combination of Musical form, form, harmony, melody, rhythm or otherwise Musical expression, expressive content. Exact definition of music, definitions of mu ...
, video synthesis, visionary film,
sculpture Sculpture is the branch of the visual arts that operates in three dimensions. Sculpture is the three-dimensional art work which is physically presented in the dimensions of height, width and depth. It is one of the plastic arts. Durable sc ...
and
improvisation Improvisation is the activity of making or doing something not planned beforehand, using whatever can be found. Improvisation in the performing arts is a very spontaneous performance without specific or scripted preparation. The skills of impr ...
. Whilst this type of display may render visual data in a volume, it is not an addressable display and capable of only lissajous figures, such at those generated by bouncing a laser off a galvo or speaker cone.


Technical challenges

Known volumetric display technologies also have several drawbacks that are exhibited depending on trade-offs chosen by the system designer. It is often claimed that volumetric displays are incapable of reconstructing scenes with viewer-position-dependent effects, such as occlusion and opacity. This is a misconception; a display whose voxels have non-isotropic radiation profiles are indeed able to depict position-dependent effects. To-date, occlusion-capable volumetric displays require two conditions: (1) the imagery is rendered and projected as a series of "views," rather than "slices," and (2) the time-varying image surface is not a uniform diffuser. For example, researchers have demonstrated spinning-screen volumetric displays with reflective and/or vertically diffuse screens whose imagery exhibits occlusion and opacity. One system created HPO 3D imagery with a 360-degree field of view by oblique projection onto a vertical diffuser; another projects 24 views onto a rotating controlled-diffusion surface; and another provides 12-view images utilizing a vertically oriented louver. So far, the ability to reconstruct scenes with occlusion and other position-dependent effects have been at the expense of vertical parallax, in that the 3D scene appears distorted if viewed from locations other than those the scene was generated for. One other consideration is the very large amount of bandwidth required to feed imagery to a volumetric display. For example, a standard 24 bits per pixel, 1024×768 resolution, flat/2D display requires about 135
MB/s In telecommunications, data-transfer rate is the average number of bits (bitrate), characters or symbols (baudrate), or data blocks per unit time passing through a communication link in a data-transmission system. Common data rate units are multi ...
to be sent to the display hardware to sustain 60 frames per second, whereas a 24 bits per
voxel In 3D computer graphics, a voxel represents a value on a regular grid in three-dimensional space. As with pixels in a 2D bitmap, voxels themselves do not typically have their position (i.e. coordinates) explicitly encoded with their values. Ins ...

voxel
, 1024×768×1024 (1024 "pixel layers" in the Z axis) volumetric display would need to send about three
orders of magnitude An order of magnitude is an approximation of the logarithm of a value relative to some contextually understood reference value, usually 10, interpreted as the base of the logarithm and the representative of values of magnitude one. Logarithmic d ...
more (135
GB/s In telecommunications, data-transfer rate is the average number of bits (bitrate), characters or symbols (baudrate), or data blocks per unit time passing through a communication link in a data-transmission system. Common data rate units are multi ...
) to the display hardware to sustain 60 volumes per second. As with regular 2D video, one could reduce the bandwidth needed by simply sending fewer volumes per second and letting the display hardware repeat frames in the interim, or by sending only enough data to affect those areas of the display that need to be updated, as is the case in modern lossy-compression video formats such as
MPEG The Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) is an alliance of working groups established jointly by International Organization for Standardization, ISO and International Electrotechnical Commission, IEC that sets standards for media coding, includ ...
. Furthermore, a 3D volumetric display would require two to three orders of magnitude more CPU and/or
GPU A graphics processing unit (GPU) is a specialized electronic circuit An electronic circuit is composed of individual electronic components, such as resistors, transistors, capacitors, inductors and diodes, connected by conductive wires or Co ...
power beyond that necessary for 2D imagery of equivalent quality, due at least in part to the sheer amount of data that must be created and sent to the display hardware. However, if only the outer surface of the volume is visible, the number of voxels required would be of the same order as the number of pixels on a conventional display. This would only be the case if the voxels do not have "alpha" or transparency values.


See also

*
Holography Holography is a technique that enables a wavefront to be recorded and later re-constructed. Holography is best known as a method of generating real three-dimensional images, but it also has a wide range of other Holography#Applications, applic ...
* Volumetric Haptic Display * Volumetric video * Volumetric printing *
Virtual retinal display A virtual retinal display (VRD), also known as a retinal scan display (RSD) or retinal projector (RP), is a display technology that draws a raster graphics, raster display (like a television) directly onto the retina of the eye. History In th ...
*
Display device A display device is an output device for presentation of information in visual or Touch, tactile form (the latter used for example in Refreshable Braille display, tactile electronic displays for blind people). When the input information that is su ...
*
3D display A 3D display is a display device capable of conveying depth perception, depth to the viewer. Many 3D displays are stereoscopic displays, which produce a basic 3D effect by means of stereopsis, but can cause eye strain and visual fatigue. Newer ...
* Zebra Imaging *
Autostereoscopy Autostereoscopy is any method of displaying stereoscopy, stereoscopic images (adding binocular vision, binocular perception of 3D depth) without the use of special headgear, glasses, something that affects vision, or anything for eyes on the par ...
* Multiscopy *
Vergence-Accommodation Conflict Vergence-accommodation conflict (VAC), also known as accommodation-vergence conflict, is a Visual system, visual phenomenon that occurs when the brain receives mismatching cues between vergence and Accommodation (eye), accommodation of the eye. T ...


References


Footnotes


Further reading

* Blundell, B.G., (2011). "About 3D Volumetric Displays", Walker & Wood Ltd. . (http://www.barrygblundell.com, PDF file). *Blundell, B.G., (2011). "3D Displays and Spatial Interaction: Exploring the Science, Art, Evolution, and Use of 3D Technologies,Volume I: From Perception to Technologies", Walker & Wood Ltd. . (http://www.barrygblundell.com, PDF file). * Blundell, B.G. and Schwarz, A J (2007). "Enhanced Visualization: Making Space for 3D Images", John Wiley & Sons. . * Blundell, B.G. and Schwarz, A J (2006). ''Creative 3-D Displays and Interaction Interfaces: A Transdisciplinary Approach'', John Wiley & Sons. . (http://www.barrygblundell.com, PDF file). * Blundell, B. G. and Schwarz, A. J. (2000). ''Volumetric Three-Dimensional Display Systems'', John Wiley & Sons. (http://www.barrygblundell.com, PDF file). * Favalora, G. E. (2005, Aug.). "Volumetric 3D Displays and Application Infrastructure," ''Computer, 38''(8), 37-44. ''Illustrated technical survey of contemporary and historic volumetric 3-D displays.'
IEEE citation via ACM
* Funk, W. (2008). "Hologlyphics: Volumetric image synthesis performance system," ''Proc. SPIE'', vol. 6803, SPIE — Int'l Soc. for Optical Eng., Stereoscopic Displays and Applications XIX
PDF at author site
* Halle, M. (1997). "Autostereoscopic displays and computer graphics," ''Computer Graphics'', ACM SIGGRAPH, vol. 31, no. 2, (pp. 58–62). ''A thoughtful and concise overview of the field of 3-D display technologies, particularly non-volumetric displays.'

* Hartwig, R. (1976). ''Vorrichtung zur Dreidimensionalen Abbildung in Einem Zylindersymmetrischen Abbildungstraum'', German patent DE2622802C2, filed 1976, issued 1983. ''One of the earliest patent references for the rotating helix 3-D display.'' * Honda, T. (2000). Three-Dimensional Display Technology Satisfying 'Super Multiview Condition.' In B. Javidi and F. Okano (Eds.), ''Proc. Three-Dimensional Video and Display: Devices and Systems'', vol. CR76, SPIE Press, (pp. 218–249). * Langhans, K., Bezecny, D., Homann, D., Bahr, D., Vogt, C., Blohm, C., and Scharschmidt, K.-H.(1998).
New Portable FELIX 3D Display
" ''Proc. SPIE'', vol. 3296, SPIE — Int'l Soc. for Optical Eng., (pp. 204–216). ''Includes a thorough literature review of volumetric displays.'' * Lewis, J. D., Verber, C. M., and McGhee, R. B. (1971)
A True Three-Dimensional Display
''IEEE Trans. Electron Devices, 18,'' 724-732. ''An early investigation into so-called solid-state 3-D displays.'' * Roth, E. (2006). Volumetric Display based on Inkjet-Technology
PDF
(Archived 03-14-2012


External links


Dragon O
- a commercially available Interactive Volumetric LED Display composed of 50cmx50cmx3m plugin modules. Positioned for audiovisual interactive experiences and installations
Volumetric Motion Picture and 3D Digital Film Forum

VisualCube
— a small volumetric display composed of 6x6x6
voxel In 3D computer graphics, a voxel represents a value on a regular grid in three-dimensional space. As with pixels in a 2D bitmap, voxels themselves do not typically have their position (i.e. coordinates) explicitly encoded with their values. Ins ...

voxel
s, each represented by a 2-color
LED A light-emitting diode (LED) is a semiconductor A semiconductor is a material which has an electrical resistivity and conductivity, electrical conductivity value falling between that of a electrical conductor, conductor, such as c ...

Voxiebox
— a commercially available swept-volume based volumetric display positioned for gaming and entertainment applications

— Summary of history, practical issues, and state of the art up until March 1996
The Return of the 3D Crystal Ball
— A comprehensive article on Actuality Systems' Volumetric technology including an interview, pictures and a movie
Felix3D Display
— Some examples for volumetric displays
Interactive 360° Light Field Display
— by USC Institute for Creative Technologies

— Press Release from 2004, perhaps discontinued as no further references found * SPIE / IS&T Stereoscopic Displays and Virtual Reality Application
annual global conference

Diffraction Influence on the Field of View and Resolution of Three-Dimensional Integral Imaging
{{DEFAULTSORT:Volumetric Display Display technology 3D imaging