Grand illusion from Ford is holographic

Visitors to this year’s Geneva Motor Show were able to look closely at Ford’s futuristic concept car, the P2000 Prodigy. Curious observers admired the car from many different perspectives: stooping to look beneath the chassis, craning to look down on the roof, and even walking straight through the exhibit. It was, in fact, the largest computer generated full parallax hologram ever displayed to the public.

Holography has developed considerably since crude moving images first appeared on bank cards. Recent developments have made it possible to create holograms from a sequence of distinct 2D images, displacing the need for 3D physical models.

With the help of Zebra Imaging of Austin, Texas, Ford has taken this one step further and developed a process for viewing electronic design data in 3D. The image was created directly from Ford’s 3D electronic design data and used by Zebra Imaging to create a tiled panel of holographic film consisting of 900,000 individual exposures. The 3D image appears when the film is illuminated by intense white light. Although this technology is still in its infancy, it’s quite possible that full-scale interactive holograms will eventually replace clay models.