Talk about thinking outside of the box! Special effects company Entertainment Arts recently licensed the technology for a proprietary holographic projector that can transmit 3-D images into any empty space it’s aimed at. The technology frees viewers from having to be in the vicinity of a screen, so kids might soon be able to watch a life-like video game or cartoon episode unfold in real time on a coffee table or a cafeteria bench.
Based out of Emerson, New Jersey, EA will be pursuing all kinds of commercial applications now that it has picked up a five-year license from the technology’s Findlay, Ohio-based developer ATL Corporation. Kid-targeted applications like video games and 3-D animation are definitely on the list, but the company initially plans to target entertainment companies, marketers and ad agencies, along with event producers, movie theaters, museums and manufacturers interested in creating a unique in-store presence for their products.
Although EA will take on custom jobs, there are currently three stock projector sizes available – from a 17×19-inch model that projects a foot-high image, to an 8×10-foot box that broadcasts life-size characters.
EA president and CEO Eric Brown sees shopping malls and movie theaters as natural venues for featuring holographic projections. ‘You could actually shoot a minute-long movie promo featuring the star on blue screen, and use it promotionally in the Cineplex lobby,’ he says, adding that the box could be discreetly buried inside a wall.
The first major application was at a trade show produced by Pentax Medical in May, where a receptionist’s head floated above the entrance desk to a section called The Lab of the Future. EA also signed a deal to work with Toronto, Canada-based companies Talon Retail Strategies Group and TV Boards on adding holographic technology to POP displays. Brown adds the company is in discussions with several marketers and ad agencies, including New York’s Saatchi & Saatchi, about potential projects.