This patent by Amazon shows off a concept of turning a space into a complete holographic room. Drawn as a complex mix of projectors, camera modules and light beams, the technology is designed to be built into rooms—whether for personal, business, or retail use—or into portable lamp-like contraptions.
There are two main parts to Amazon’s vision shown in the document entitled “Reflector-Based Depth Mapping of a Scene.”
First is the 3D mapping technology. According to the patent, varying beams of light will fill the room or space and their reflection will be recorded back by a camera. By determining the deformation of the projections as it hits objects in the room, it will generate a 3D map of the room. It will locate each wall, noting each surface and form a 3D representation of every object in the room.
This mapping informs the second part, a projection system. The projectors then flash images to surfaces and objects. Because it knows the location of each surface, it can synthesise a holographic effect.
For example, if you have a mannequin in the room, the system can project a person’s features on the shape to create a convincing effect. Another application could be in gaming, where anything you hold can be turned into a weapon or a basketball, depending on the game.
However, one of the first applications of the technology would probably be projecting on flat surfaces. With it, any wall can become a giant touchscreen. A pad of paper can turn into an interactive tablet.
The patent shows that the projection systems can be mounted on room ceilings. Although patents doesn’t mean Amazon already has prototypes, the technology doesn’t seem so far-fetched.