The camera you see here is a holographic camera. It will be made by RED and powered by Lucid’s 3D Fusion technology, and it can capture 3D 4-view holographic content. Here’s how it works. (update: check out the new video of Samsung’s holographic phone!)
You know about RED and its professional cameras used by filmmakers and you probably know about Lucid, which created LucidCam, the first 3D 180 degree camera. RED and Lucid are working on a professional camera, which they call an 8K camera but it actually uses two 4K sensors, so it’s not really 8K (real 8K has four times more resolution than 4K). But what really sets this camera apart is its ability to shoot holographic videos.
What is RED’s 4-view Holographic Format and How Does It Work?
To understand why this camera is groundbreaking, we need to understand RED’s 4-view holographic format. It’s a bit easier to explain it by contrasting it with conventional 3D photos and videos.
When you view a 3D stereoscopic photo or video, it looks 3D (binocular parallax) but when you move side to side or up / down the perspective doesn’t change correctly, and your brain recognizes it as not being ‘real’. With RED’s 4-view holographic (h4v) format, the object will appear 3D without the need to wear glasses (binocular parallax), and at the same time, the perspective changes correctly as you move around the image (head motion parallax), making it seem like it is floating over or under the smartphone or tablet display surface.
It’s hard to show it, but this demo uses the same Leia display technology as RED’s Hydrogen Phone with holographic display.
— FoVI3D (@3D_FoVi) May 25, 2017
So in other words, Red’s H4V appears to work by combining two technologies: a 3D display without glasses (similar to Nintendo 3DS for example), and at the same time, generating a false perspective to fool your eye into perceiving depth, like “hologram” apps for phones, such as this app:
UPDATE: tech blogger Mike Cane (Atomic Supermen) spotted this video of another phone with holographic display — this one’s by Samsung. The video was shot by Upload VR. This seems to be what RED is probably like.
The technology is impressive, but where will the content come from? That leads us to the new camera.
RED and Lucid’s Holographic “8K” Camera
Details are sparse for RED and Lucid’s camera but it will use two cameras and a beam splitter. RED has previously said that four cameras are required to capture an h4v hologram. With the new camera, the beam splitter will enable each camera to capture two views, for four views total. Lucid will be contributing its 3D Fusion software that can combine the images together, enabling users to see the h4v hologram almost in realtime.
You may be wondering how a user will preview the image? The camera can actually use a RED Hydrogen phone, which has a holographic display capability.
I don’t have any details yet, nor samples but if they ever deign to show samples, I’ll post them here.
What do you think of this format and this camera? Let me know in the comments!