No longer just a science fiction fantasy, holography technology is set to fuel major innovation in both business and consumer applications. Offering superior visual experience and support for interactive and intuitive applications, holography is already being leveraged in various scenarios, while the capabilities are also driving development of innovative applications across multiple industries. For instance, holography is being tested for simulation-aided training applications, as humans tend to notice patterns better when they’re presented in three dimensions. The US Army Research Laboratory collaborated with Zebra Imaging to test the success of digital holography for medical training purposes and found that students retained about 30% more information from holography-enabled training compared with textbook-based training. Holography is being successfully deployed in a variety of contexts. We found that:

  • Holography is gaining traction across industries. Organizations are deploying holography for a variety of consumer and business applications, ranging from entertainment to design and exploration. Moreover, the technology’s usefulness is being tested for critical applications such as surgery — where it presents images of human organs in an interactive three-dimensional environment that allows the surgeon to manipulate these images in real time, making the procedure less invasive.
  • Nontraditional industries are also emerging as early adopters. Holography is gaining traction in nontraditional contexts like politics. Narendra Modi, recently appointed Prime Minister of India, leveraged holographic technology for campaigning in the 2012 Gujarat state assembly elections. His holographic image delivered speeches to large audiences at more than 50 locations simultaneously, which earned recognition by the Guinness Book of World Records.

While holography has found initial success in pilot projects in various industries, my research on this topic reveals that widespread adoption of hologram-based solutions is contingent on developments across key business imperatives, including the commercial and technical aspects of the technology. To spur mass adoption, the total cost of ownership of a hologram-based solution (which is currently about three times that of existing 2D/3D solutions) will need to be rationalized through technology advancements and solution scalability to support the anticipated surge in traffic volumes.

Holography facilitates richer user experiences and process innovation and we expect its adoption to surge at a faster rate than traditional technologies. However, it presents both opportunities and challenges to I&O professionals. While holography can be leveraged to drive business process transformation, there are technical challenges associated with bandwidth requirements, the processing capabilities of systems such as security networks, and interoperability. I&O pros must develop a thorough understanding of the technical implications of deploying hologram-based applications on the infrastructure and design a robust implementation plan that includes a technical feasibility assessment, testing, and network augmentation.

Read my report, Holography: The Future Of 3D Projection, to get more information on key business and technological developments taking place in this space and recommendations on how to integrate a hologram-based solution with your existing technology infrastructure, while addressing foreseeable challenges.