Frequently Asked Questions
A technical demonstration of the Voxon VX1, the world's most advanced 3D volumetric display in the world.
Here's just some of our most frequently asked questions
The term “Hologram” comes from the Greek word “holos” meaning “whole” and “graphos” meaning “message.” Traditionally, holograms have been made by splitting a laser with special optics and capturing a static image on a 2D film. The Voxon Photonic Engine is different. It shows even more of the “whole message” by projecting light into a volume so that it can be looked at from any direction rather than capturing a 3D image on a 2D film.
There are a range of other techniques and optical illusions that have appeared in recent times. One famous example was when rapper Tupac appeared as a hologram at Coachella. This was actually a simple 2D reflection – a technique called Pepper’s Ghost. Variations on this illusion include a pyramid of mirrors that reflect the image of a screen that is mounted above. While impressive, these techniques can only show a reflection of a two dimensional image.
The biggest difference is the fact that you don’t need to wear a headset. Our technology also enables a unique shared social experience, where people gather around and interact with genuine face to face communication. We see it as very complimentary to VR however – volumetric video and volumetric data created for VR can usually be used on our 3D volumetric display. VR is immersive and you are on the inside looking out. With our technology you are on the outside looking in.
The VX1 has a variable refresh rate over the display volume, which means that on the edges of the volume the ‘frame rate’ is around 15 frames per second, (or 30 volumes per second). This means there is a small amount flicker detected by the human eye when viewing the VX1. We like to think of this as ‘genuine sci-fi flicker’. Every good sci-fi movie that has a hologram, has a hologram that flickers right? This is just the beginning. We have solved how to write light to volumetric space and have built the first generation of volumetric display. Future generations of our volumetric displays will not have any noticeable flicker, yet these are still some time away.
The Voxon VX1 SDK runs on Windows, and as such is compatible with a wide range of input devices such as Leap Motion, Kinect, Emotiv, RealSense and many other Hardware devices. Do you want to make a thought controlled holographic version of your own brain that glows according to neural activity? No problem, you can do that with the Voxon VX1.
Out of the box, you can explore some of pre-installed software. This includes games (compatible with XBox controllers), a 3D model and animation viewer, a map viewer, a mathematical formula visualiser and many more. You can get started by developing your own animated content, or if you are feeling more adventurous, you can dive into programming you own games and apps using the supplied code examples to get you started, or our Unity plugin.
The Voxon VX1 can render many different graphical styles depending on the type of content. For engineering models, you can use a Monochrome mode to add three times more detail to the objects, and using the supplied Model Viewer interact with STL files, infinitely zooming and rotating with no loss of quality. Coloured and textured elevation maps can be scrolled and zoomed with the elevation map viewer using readily available data, or using the SDK, you can animate 3D Volumetric Sprites created using using your own standard 3D workflows. OBJ files are also supported so you can create coloured models from most 3D modelling software. Our Unity plugin also allows you to create scenes within Unity and render those scenes on the VX1. You are really only limited by your imagination as to what you may want to display.
No. The Voxon VX1 renders an actual model of a scene using light and as such requires no special viewing glasses or goggles. People can walk up and engage with and interact with the VX1 with no introduction or setup time. There is no barrier to experience.
The size of the VX1 display volume is 18cm x 18cm *x 8cm (x,y,z).
The VX1 is capable of rendering over half a billion voxels every second. That would effectively fill the entire display with light. An average scene such as a flying dragon might contain around one million voxels per volume or around thirty million per second.
Out of the box, we support the rendering of STL, OBJ, KV6 and DICOM files. STL is the format used for 3D printing and is supported by nearly all 3D software packages. Unlike STL, both OBJ and KV6 files supports colour rendering. To create animated sprites, you can play a sequence of STL, OBJ or KV6 files in succession. DICOM files are used for MRI and CT scans, so you can automatically render the full data set of these scans on the VX1 and then parse through and segment medical data in front of your eyes, separating bone and tissue as an example.
These type of displays do not render a holographic image, instead they rely on an illusion called Pepper’s Ghost to display four 2D views of scene which is reflected from an LCD screen. You are looking at one 2D view made to look 3D, while on the Voxon VX1 you are looking at a true 3D scene, created using millions of points of light.
The Voxon VX1 is 39cm x 39cm x 52cm to the top of a dome. Perfect to sit on top of a stand or a table so people can gather around it and interact.
Not without touching the moving screen. There is actually a screen moving up and down at high speed which allows us to project onto this, synchronising around 4000 images per second to the specific point at which the screen is moving to… It doesn’t hurt or anything but we usually put a dome over the top so that kids/people don’t put their fingers in, drop things into the top, or damage the screen.
Yes, colour is displayed in the form of R, G, B lines that can be dithered to form any other colours that need to be displayed.
The VX1 uses a lower power, harmonically resonating reciprocating screen, so has been finely tuned to be as quiet as possible (considering we are moving a screen up and down at high speed). The average decibel reading when the VX1 is in use is around 55 dB. To put this into context, when we are at large or busy events, you can’t even hear the VX1 when in use. If in a quiet room however you will be able to hear it with the volume being similar to low level conversation or computer fan.
This is just the beginning. We have solved how to write light to volumetric space and have built the first generation of volumetric display, however the biggest advancements in our technology will come through partnerships with innovative business leaders within their industries.
Our goal over the next 12 months is to partner with key businesses with a number of different industries to create a new generation of 3D volumetric displays that are bigger, brighter, faster and with even greater resolution… We can’t wait! Contact us if you want first mover advantage within your industry and join us on the journey.
“The best scientists and explorers have the attributes of kids! They ask questions and have a sense of wonder. They have curiosity. ‘Who, what, where, why, when and how!’ They never stop asking questions, and I never stop asking questions, just like a five year old.”
“I am just a child who has never grown up. I still keep asking these 'how' and 'why' questions. Occasionally, I find an answer.“
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.“