Amusing Monday: Entertaining videos don’t show real holograms

An amusing video that shows a young family experiencing close-up encounters with killer whales, a polar bear and several penguins has been making the rounds on social media. The technology has been described as a hologram by many people posting and reposting the video, the first on this page.

Frankly, I was amazed at first, believing that people were really up close and personal with a 3D image in a shopping mall. The animals, which I assumed were projected for all to see, appeared so real that it was no wonder that people in the video were reaching out to touch them. Unfortunately, that’s not what we are seeing, according to observers.

I am not the only one to be fooled by what is actually a recorded video overlaid onto the live actions of people caught on a TV monitor. Although it is fun to watch, this is just one video combined with another, basically a double exposure. For a different perspective, take a look at the still photo that someone found on a Russian website.

I haven’t been paying attention to holigraphic technology lately. I thought maybe I was 20 years behind, although I have begun to learn about virtual reality and augmented reality, which generally require some kind of viewer.

Another video making the rounds is labeled “Virtual whale 7d” (second on this page), but Snopes, the hoax-busting website, says this is no hologram either.

“As the children in the video are not wearing any sort of special headgear, we can assume that they did not actually witness a hologram whale splashing through their gym floor,” Snopes says on its website.

With words like “we can assume,” I’m not sure that the usually reliable Snopes has this one correct. Mainly, I would like to know what this video actually shows — not what it does not show. If anyone can explain these videos better, I would like to know.

Snopes seems to think that the second video is a product of Magic Leap, a mysterious company that is working on a system that merges virtual reality with the real world. Wired Magazine goes deep to explain what might be coming, and this video from Wired gives a quick overview of Magic Leap’s technology.

In a search of the Internet, I found lots of amusing 3D applications, including various forms of entertainment. Some purport to be holograms. Check out the video of the Dragon’s Treasure show at the City of Dreams casino in Macau.

As for true holograms, researchers in South Korea say they have developed the first 360-degree full-color hologram. It is a moving image of a Rubik’s Cube, just 3 inches tall but viewable from any angle. See the last video on this page.

“The floating image relies on diffraction generated by the interference between the many lasers in the complex system, states an article in Digital Trends. “A previous holographic invention out of MIT had a visible radian of 20 degrees, which isn’t exactly a proper hologram but was as close as most technologists could get.”

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