The 6 hologram innovations that are making Star Wars a reality

They're our only hope

5. Voxon Voxiebox

Perhaps more feasible is VOXON's Voxiebox. Promoted as the "world's first holographic gaming system", Voxiebox's "volumetric graphics processor" generates points of light within a volume of space – in this case the Voxiebox itself. Using a tiny projector to shine a 2D image up to a 'viewing screen' at the top of the box, Voxiebox creates a 3D hologram image by vibrating its screen up and down at a rate of 20Hz.

Voxiebox

The result is a shimmering, 3D-ish effect very reminiscent of the Dejarik hologram – although, again, trapped within a box. In ongoing development, its holograms are still a little low-res, but they certainly get close to the flickering beauty of Leia's cry for help.

The first Voxiebox product, the Voxatron Table, has just been launched ($10,000) as the "world's first volumetric 3D arcade game". The cabinet houses a special edition of Voxatron, an action/adventure game developed by Lexaloffle Games, running on a true volumetric display viewable from any angle.

6. Holo-Gauze

Creating a huge stir in the events industry, the highly transparent, lightweight Holo-Gauze, developed by Holotronica, frees holograms from their glass prism-prisons and recently created the world's biggest hologram effect. Designed for 3D polarised projection systems (using 3D anaglyph glasses), Holo-Gauze is equally at home receiving lifelike 2D holograms. It is exactly as described: a virtually-invisible gauze onto which images can be projected.

Holo gauze

Stretched across a stage, in front of the performers, projected images appear to float in mid-air, looking solid and three dimensional even when projected in 2D. It's even possible to fool audiences into believing they're seeing real performers, as the producers of Michael Flatley's latest Lord of the Dance tour did recently, when three Flatley's appeared to have dance off against one another. Which one was the real Michael? None of them!

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Holo Gauze

Holo-Gauze could easily replicate the Leia sequence, and it would be incredible to see the sequence projected in front of cinema screens across the world, before each screening of the new Star Wars next December. Sure, it doesn't float holograms into thin air, but of all the holographic solutions currently available, it's the most convincing – for now.