A Curious Conundrum; The State of Holographic Portraiture in the 21st Century

Rob Taylor
Forth Dimension Holographic Technologies, United States

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The technology of producing (true) hologram portraits was first introduced in the late 1960’s. From this time, a number of individuals and organizations worldwide have specialized in providing holographic portraiture services with varying degrees of achievement. Yet today, some 45 years later, holographic portraiture remains an obscure and niche form of displaying an individual’s likeness. Despite all of this technology’s promising and unique attributes, and the astonishing fact of holography being the most accurate and realistic form of imaging available today; true holographic portraiture continues to be a form of portraiture largely unknown to the general public and has never achieved large-scale commercial success.

This paper will present a brief history of holographic portraiture, designating the different types of 3-D hologram portraits available today, and their uses. Emphasis will be given to true holographic pulsed portraiture in which the subject itself is recorded holographically using high-energy pulsed lasers. Possible cause and effect for explaining the present demise of this type of portrait making will be discussed along with recent advancements and future developments in this fledgling field which could ultimately lead to a “tipping point” in large-scale consumer and commercial awareness and desirability of the medium.

The author will share his experiences in operating pulsed holographic portraiture studios for over the last 15 years including the vision of a new type of holographic portrait studio for the 21st century which he hopes will attain the level of success enabling a next generation of commercially viable holographic portrait studios for the future.