The animal does not predict the mechanical.
Wheels and motors made equine-power into an anachronism.
A similar disruptive change in optics has now occurred.
Lenses and mirrors occur naturally from droplets and reflections.
The hologram is a man made optical element with a short history.
With this innovation, everything changes.
It is easy to see the difference.
Lenses and mirrors are fat.
Diffraction gratings are flat.
In 1962 it became possible to make a hologram for the first time. A special type of diffraction grating, a holographic optical element (HOE), is simple to make and inexpensive to mass replicate. Our approach is to illuminate a HOE and then analyze its output with a computer to acquire 3D information. This is how we implement our patents in optics.
When a source of illumination moves away from and toward from our hologram, the size of its spectrum proportionately expands and contracts.
The phenomenon is extensible to ambient illumination, because the red, green and blue channels of a color camera produce three images offset from each other by distances proportional to the distance of an object to the HOE.
Our laboratory demonstration of has shown that 3D tracking is possible at imperceptible levels of movement. Our test station uses a micron-accurate motion platform - the backbone of a 3D microscope developed under grants from the National Science Foundation. Test software, developed by microscope manufacturer and partner, Aspex, Inc of New York City, moves a test source and returns precise quantitative results. The software converts the output of a conventional tri-stimulus red, green and blue color camera into dozens of sample spectrographic wavelengths, leading to precise calculations of 3D position.
The rulings of CD's are on a similar groove pitch and exhibit the phenomenon we discovered. Quite surprisingly, despite the universal availability of these materials, no one had reported what we discovered: the size of a spectrum was proportional to the distance of a source of illumination to a grating. By being the first to report the discovery, we were granted the patents for chromatic and magnification behavior as it applies to 3D image capture by diffraction.
Most 3D technology has a legacy in stereoscopy. Stereo cameras record a pair of images which the brain can interpret as 3D. But a computer cannot interpret these as 3D because two pictures are not "the entire record." The brute force solution for computers has been to employ many cameras - dozens in some installations.
Our approach is distinctly different from the stereo precedent. Our roots are in holography - a word coined to mean, "the entire record." The spectral image produced by a HOE consists of as many views as the spectrum is wide. The phenomenon has no precedent in cameras.
3D is not the only seminal invention at 3DeWitt. In 2002 Tom Ditto conjectured that when a diffraction grating is viewed from its side, a grating could provide enormous optical leverage. When NASA saw the idea, they made Ditto a Fellow at their Institute for Advanced Concepts, funded a research project, and he built a working model of a telescope, "The Dittoscope," in six months. Space telescopes of this design might someday be of kilometer scale, because the primary objective is flat and made of a light-weight membrane.
Where there is a telescope, there may also be a microscope. Turn the input and output of the Dittoscope around, and you have an aperture like a microscope which produces a 3D image as big as the hologram is wide. A patent issued for this idea. It caught the attention of the National Science Foundation which has underwritten its early development. A working version now exists, manufactured by Aspex, Inc., a microscope company.
Telescopes and microscopes are all fine and good for science, but what about the rest of us? One application that could someday be found on every desktop, laptop, netbook, tablet, cell phone, entertainment center and in classrooms, boardrooms and public displays is a 3D graphical interace device which we call the 3D Ring.