Eye Systems © Visionsbox GmbH & Co. KG

Eye Systems create Star Wars-style optical illusions

Holography used to make 3D images float - Hamburg-based firm behind idea

Chris Braun’s favourite projection is an Adidas trainer floating in space. “As the trainer rotates dynamically around its own axis and the colours light up, it looks just fantastic,” said Braun, who is the co-founder of the Hamburg-based Eye Systems. The company develops and makes Holocircles, a display technology that generates optical illusions. “A rotor fitted with LED lamps rotating at 600 revolutions per minute generates a 3D image that floats in the air…simply because the rotor blades turn so rapidly that the human eye is unable to see it anymore,” Braun noted. Coca-Cola bottles float towards the observer, a burger “presents” its various ingredients, and Super Mario jumps to his feet and marches cheerfully through the air. Eye Systems calls it “innovative advertising for the future”.

App calculates projections

Braun, 29, knows his way around illusion. In fact, he had originally set his sights on becoming an actor, and working for Claus Cohnen – known as “HoloClaus” – was intended as a sideline to earn money. “But then I became fascinated by holography, and together we came up with the brand Eye Systems,” the inventor said. We’ve been surrounded by holograms for a long time in fact; they are on banknotes, transport tickets and packaging. “But at least since films like Star Wars, people have wanted holo-projections, such as Princess Leia, that emerge as it were out of nothing.” Provided he receives an image template, Braun can let anything float in the air with his Holocircles. A simple MP4 video is uploaded to the system via a smartphone app. “We count companies like Adidas, Siemens, Sixt, Kärcher and many more among our customers. And in Hamburg we are planning a display window with a huge hologram wall as an attraction for a large electronics outlet in June 2019. I can reveal that much.”

Holograms controlled with gestures in future

Eye Systems is currently doing most of its business with holographic eye catchers for trade fairs and events along with the technology behind traditional presentation displays, sound and widescreen LED video walls such as the presentation for the Football World Cup. “The effects that we achieve in holography today are really cool even though we are basically right at the start. Much more can be done,” Braun said. For instance, by linking several Holocircles in series and synchronizing them. “A Holocircle matrix is created as a result. Forty-four circles can produce an object measuring 3×2 metres in size, or more.” Things could get really exciting, if the techies manage to perfect control by arm movement, allowing interaction with the holograms. “But that’s something for the future. As is making telephone calls backed by holography,” Braun said. But at some point, it could become a reality: “You ring someone, and they then appear in space in front of you.”

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