Institute for Creative Technologies at the University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA) has developed a "hologram-like" 3D videoconferencing system, which it demonstrated earlier this month during the 26th Army Science Conference. The system displays a three-dimensional image of a speaker's head in real time and enables two-way communication between the image and observers. The display accurately reproduces the image of an object as it would appear from different points of view, yielding a solid, three-dimensional appearance. The system works by projecting images of the speaker onto a spinning mirror to create the volumetric display.
Paul Debevec, research associate professor and associate director of graphics at ICT, told Laser Focus World that protective screen is in place to prevent curious observers from getting too close and clipping their fingers on the spinning mirror--but once the system is further refined, they expect to be able to do away with the glass.
Unlike CNN's experiment on election night, or the famous holograms in the "Star Wars" films, this image is visible in person, and is not achieved by compositing images together on film or video.
For further information, see the ICT website.