The hologram is the result of holography, a technique that allows the volume of an object to be recorded in 3D and reproduced in an image. This technique was made possible by the development of lasers in the last century. For the time being, holograms are only possible in the laboratory. But in this case, what do we commonly call a "hologram"? Discover in this article the history of this technology, its developments and its abuse of language...


The history of the hologram

hologram produced by a Japanese team

Imagined by Jules Verne in 1892, the principle of holography was invented in 1948 by the physicist Dennis Gabor, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his discoveries in 1971... It was only in 2015 that the first colour hologram was produced by a consortium of Korean laboratories led by LG, under very specific conditions (creation of interference in a laser system). This proves that holograms as presented to us in Star Wars, for example, are for the moment still a fantasy and far from being a mature technology. However, devices are now able to create a holographic "illusion".


The hologram: an abuse of language

Today, in everyday language, a hologram refers to any 3D volume that appears to float in the air generated by a device. But if we refer to the scientific definition of the term, it is a misuse of language. Indeed, what we know is only an optical illusion, as it seems that a 3D shape levitates in front of the audience. This is achieved by using a physical medium, whereas the real hologram is created without a medium, and this is only possible in a laboratory!

For the rest of the article, we will refer to the commonly accepted definition

Several media to broadcast a hologram

Today, many companies are developing new media, often derived from Pepper's ghost, to give this holographic illusion. Different technologies are used.

Pepper's ghost principle

Pepper's Ghost - A populartechnique in stagecraft,Pepper's Ghost is a technique for creating the illusion of appearing and disappearing objects. This method was invented in the mid-19th century for the theatre to make ghosts appear on stage in a believable way. This technique uses two rooms: one visible to the spectator and the other hidden (called the "blue room"). An invisible glass pane positioned at 45° separates the two. Thanks to a sufficiently powerful light projection on an object, a clear reflection is formed in front of the audience, giving them the impression of a supernatural apparition. Since then, the technique has been widely used in the entertainment world.




Holographic displays - A miniaturised version of Pepper's ghost, holographic displays allow a 3D model to be displayed. They come in a variety of sizes and can be interactive via a joystick or smartphone. They give the impression that the 3D volume is floating in the air inside a window.


Holographic pyramids - This is a system that is relatively similar to the display cases. The main difference is that the 4 sides of the pyramid allow the object to be viewed in 360°. They can also be operated remotely using a joystick or smartphone. This system also exists in a miniaturised version for smartphones. For a few euros or made by hand, this system can be used for mobile demonstrations.


Holographic display case, pyramid type


Hypervsn: developed since 2012 by the company Kino-Mo, the Hypervsn device is a holographic projector broadcasting a video stream through light-emitting diodes (LEDs) positioned on four spokes. The speed of rotation of the beams gives the impression that a 3D object is floating in the air without any apparent support. In addition, these devices can be connected to each other, thus enlarging the projection area. Large companies have already taken advantage of this medium, such as Renault for one of its poster campaigns in railway stations.
Today, there are several similar devices that are inexpensive but not as well made.

Kino Mo hologram demonstration


There are also other holographic projection media that take different forms but are less widespread. Some devices are even made to measure for very specific orders, such as reception holograms, which can be found, for example, in certain airports.

The hologram: a tool for professionals.

Given the high costs involved, the professional sector therefore accounts for almost the entire market. Initially reserved for the performing arts with Pepper's ghost, the new "miniaturised" projection media have attracted the interest of other sectors. Indeed, the hologram has an incredible capacity to fascinate. Luminous, almost magical, the public remains totally "glued" when seeing this type of device. At trade fairs, in showrooms or even in shops, brands have realised the attraction it can create and now use it as an "exceptional" communication medium.


The entertainment industry: the preferred sector for holographic projections

Cradle of Pepper's ghost, the art of the stage is the universe of choice for holographic projection. 2pac, Michael Jackson or even Claude François, holograms are regularly used to bring deceased singers back to life on stage. Today's technologies make it possible to create particularly realistic illusions. In another register, it was the politician Jean-Luc Mélenchon who was projected in several places simultaneously during a meeting during the 2017 presidential campaign.


An unstoppable weapon for marketing

Since new, more mobile holographic projection devices have been produced, marketing has developed a real appetite for holograms to provide an unusual visual experience. It is not uncommon to find today certain products promoted through animated 3D models that seem to float in the air. Placed in a shop, showroom or exhibition, holograms are an excellent way to highlight a product, acting as a beacon to fascinate the audience. In addition, the brand gains an innovative and dynamic image, ready to experiment with new technologies to promote its products.


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Holograms in museums

To meet specific needs, museums are also acquiring holographic projection media. Indeed, certain pieces that have disappeared or are too damaged to be shown to the public can be faithfully reproduced and then projected as holograms. By making them interactive, these 3D reconstructions of works can even be manipulated by the public in complete safety. Animations can also be created in order to be integrated into the scenarisation of a visit, for example.


Real estate is not left out

And yes, even real estate is getting holograms! At trade fairs, the stands of major developers offer visitors the opportunity to discover their most beautiful construction programmes in 3D through holographic projection devices. Here too, professionals in the sector have realised the potential of holograms in terms of communication in showrooms and exhibitions.

And yes, even real estate is getting holograms! At trade fairs, the stands of major developers offer visitors the opportunity to discover their most beautiful construction programmes in 3D through holographic projection devices. Here too, professionals in the sector have realised the potential of holograms in terms of communication in showrooms and exhibitions.

Holographic displays are generally preferred. Apart from the fact that they are easy to install on a stand, it is the interactivity of this medium that really hits the spot! Using joysticks or a control interface on a tablet and/or smartphone, it is possible to interact live with the model and make an extraordinary presentation. In addition, several 3D models of real estate projects can be integrated in the window. This was also observed at the SIMI, the international real estate fair. Several 3D models made for Linkcity were projected on their stand in a holographic window.

hologram made by artefacto


Holograms are on their way to invade us! More and more brands are using this type of medium to make a lasting impression and provide an additional experience. Many sectors are developing a real appetite for holograms, and today's miniaturised devices make it easier to integrate them into confined spaces. The multiplication of media and the constant fall in their price suggests that more and more companies will be able to access them. In the long term, we can imagine that holographic projectors will replace conventional display media due to their lower cost and their ability to fascinate the public. Indeed, experiential marketing is now at the heart of event communication strategies and holograms fit perfectly into this approach. One thing is certain, holograms will continue to amaze us!