Hi-Tech Replaces R2-D2… Wait, huh?

Thanks to some very industrious Belgians, Obi-Wan Kenobi has a new way of picking up his messages. Aptly dubbed the HOLOCUBE, inventor Joris Vanbriel is targeting retailers and manufacturers trying to attract Generation X&Y shoppers plagued by short attention spans. Marketing to this demographic has become more and more difficult, with veins filled of caffeine and sugar, myspace, texting, iPods and that damn rock & roll…wait, what was my point? Oh yeah, by being the first to market with a low-maintenance, counter-top 3D holographic display, the HOLOCUBE has high hopes of bringing 3D holographic technology to the masses. Packed in a stylish doppelganger for Apple’s HiFi, is a 40 gig hard drive that delivers over 18 hours of compressed video. Many Bothans died to bring us this information.

Designer: Joris Vanbriel [ Via: Engadget ]


  • paul says:

    This is a really cool thing to display products or short messages…but the thing is: don´t you want to touch products, get feel of the surface, the weight…?

    By the way, this mirror cube is a very old magic trick for floating objects although very clever to built in an lcd!

  • anelli says:

    How big(or small) is that gizmo and how expensive is it?

  • Rying says:

    I don’t care about the price nor the dimensions, just tell me where I can buy it…I need it!!!

  • knowitall says:

    That’s only semi-reflecting glass plate and a average LCD display on the bottom.

    ***How to make a holo cube for just $250***
    ~ 19″ LCD – $150
    ~ 19″ piece of glass – $10
    ~ 19″ Size Box – $20
    ~ Laptop or DVD Player – xxx

    • Jan Vanbriel says:

      Yeaah right

      That we tought also two years ago 🙂

      You will find a lot of troubles :

      Do you think you can see your 3D content in the daylight ?
      Do you think the colors will be ok on a piece of glass ?
      Is your machine plug and play ?
      People will see your budget holograms also double 🙂
      What about the cooling of the laptop … … … … … … … … … …

      It’s looking simple but our 50 cm x 50 cm x 50 cm patented holocube is 66 kilo of pure high tech with a nice aluminium housing.

      good try and wish you the best

      • knowitall says:


        – “Do you think you can see your 3D content in the daylight ?”
        Yes, depending on how much cd/m2 the display offers, >500 cd/m2 should be fine.

        – “Do you think the colors will be ok on a piece of glass ?”
        That is what transparent glass is made for, not disorting colors.

        – “Is your machine plug and play ?”
        Every LCD monitor is, so why shouldn’t an LCD that has just some extra casing around it?

        – “People will see your budget holograms also double :)”
        Holograms? I don’t see any holographic techniques involved.. just some spinning/animated 3d objects, reflected by a piece of glass.

        – “What about the cooling of the laptop … … … … … … … … … …”
        Laptops have cooling built in, putting it into some cubic case wouldn’t hurt at all.

        – “It’s looking simple but our 50 cm x 50 cm x 50 cm patented holocube is 66 kilo of pure high tech with a nice aluminium housing.”
        Gratulations for the patent, though i can’t see any “high tech” involved there.

        – “good try and wish you the best. Jan”
        Thanks, no offense.. i’m just playing fair for todays *real* holographic inventors. This “peppers ghost” trick is 170 years old. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pepper's_Ghost

        Apart from that, i also wish you all the best for this project. It’s not a bad idea, it’s just not *holographic*, what’s the price btw?


        • Jan Vanbriel says:

          Dear Rian

          You really need to make it, and show it to us and the public !

          Theory and a big mouth is one thing, the real thing is something else.

          With 500 cd/m2 you will see maybe something in the dark but nothing in daylight.

          Transparent glass gives together with video a pink glow and you will see the images only on one side of the box.

          The thickness of the glass will also double the image.

          We never pretended to be the inventors of real holograms.

          We also dream about the star wars holodeck and one day …


          I’m no native English speaker so forgive me the bad sentences.

        • Jan Vanbriel says:

          Aaah and what i forgot , your magic plug and play LCD monitor is playing automaticly content 24 hours a day ?

          • Hartigan says:

            Yup!! Its a modern version of the “peppers ghost” for theaters, Sorry…

            Plug and play can be programmed. Keep working on it seems great.

            Try ionized stream of air, and projectan image, so people can try to reach fot it.


  • Theron says:

    Interesting claims

    So seeing as though its “patented” I’m sure you wouldn’t mind providing a link to the patent spec so we can check out how its done?

    good try and wish you the best

  • Jan Vanbriel says:

    Thanks Theron

    If we do this, we got in a few months or maybe weeks, a made in China “holocube”.
    If you can give us a battery of lawyers , I would like to do it.
    Holocube is in all his aspects a young and independent company.

    check this: http://www.patent-cn.com/2008/02/12/8391.shtml

    We also think the stream of comments on the net is interesting, although you sometimes think that some people prefer to give negative comments than make something themselves.

    I hope you will like next week our better movie on the website.


  • Theron says:

    My Apologies.
    Very true, it is allot easier to shoot down something someone else has created, than to create something ones self. A problem only made worse in the faceless, conscienceless world of the internet.
    Sorry for the shrewd copying of your sign off line. You have my respect for being one of the few people to remain calm in the face of easily mis-interpreted emotions in a land without the subtleties of body language or tone of voice.

    Well, enough of that

    As for the patent laws, yes, I have to admit, the little i know about patent law reminds me that 3D Intellectual Prop. is rather badly protected, even when protected by rather large teams of rather expensive lawyers.
    I think my calling for a patent spec. was in part created out of curiosity for your technology. I have spent many a night trying to decipher the cryptically generated lawyer babble designed to keep patents safe. From the video on your site, it does look rather 3D, or about as close as one is going to get to demonstrating 3D content through a 2D medium.

    Do you by any chance have more than one camera lying around the office? It would be most fascinating to strap them together and make a stereoscopic film. You cold splice the two video’s to run side by side, but the I suppose the audience prepared to go through the learning curve of viewing cross eyed stereoscopic films is probably not worth the effort 😛
    While it to can be faked, maybe try moving the camera around a static image, rather than keeping it still and watching a fixed (relative to the camera) animation. I seriously doubt someone would go through the effort of doing camera position based faux 3D images (where the position of the viewer is tracked and the image is adjusted and corrected for the correct view relative to the represented 3D object, and even that would be a noteworthy achievement). But I’m sure you have better things to do with you time.
    bah, I’m babbling
    Is there any chance a model will make its self visible somewhere in the vicinity of South Africa

    Again, my apologies, and respect.
    Theron Burger

  • Theron says:

    Oh, and to completely shift sides (but not completely), and prove that I can in fact reason logically;

    the first two problems you would run into would be just as described;

    As the light from the source (LCD) reaches the glass, part of it is reflected to the view, and part is transmitted into the glass. However, when this light tries to pass from the glass back to the air on the other side of the glass, some of it is again reflected, and creates a second reflection just offset from the first. (assuming the glass is placed at 45 degrees, the distance of the offset would be equal to the thickness of the glass)
    This is the reason it is not an issue when used on stage, as the 4mm offset is so small relative to the large viewing distance of the audience that is is completely negligible

    Secondly, while the teleprompter style reflected image would appear correctly proportioned when viewed from the front, it would appear trapezoidal when viewed from an angle
    No, to get this kind of “volume” hologram, you need sum much fancier stuff.

    Oh, i cant help my self, if you wont tell me, ill have to speculate.
    Fancy eh?\So whats new and fancy? idunno, lets try, um…..lasers! We’v had rbg down on 2d display panels for a while now. But up until recently blue lasers were difficult, but with Shuji Nakamura’s breakthrough with the shorter wavelength lasers, we can now do rbg laser images on a commercial viable scale. So a dual set of three (rgb) scanning lasers creating the image with a combination of interference (A negative of the image if you will, where interference creates a “dark” spot). Then i suppose you would need a substance to disburse the light, a gas perhaps, maybe even water vapor. And AIST’s xyz scanner has the speed to do all that motion. Ah, but the interference only cancels out at 180 degrees, and the sides of your case are thin, so no luck on that one

    My issue here is the quantity of data required for a reasonable resolution 3d film. Say you have your animation pre-rendered at 30fps (I’m assuming pre-rendered, because to render images like that in real time, just isn’t doable). Your specs say 18h in 40gb, thats 2.2gb/h. 3600 sec in an hour, so thats 108 000 images per hour, so thats 21kb per image.
    I suppose you could be running a sort of viewable data only kind of thing where the images are “hollow”. Even then, thats some intense maths for a laptop. I know MITs holographic display can only do 1/2 or 4 frames a sec on a rather small display and they are using rather powerfully computers.

    Actually you have thrown two of my ideas out of the window already. Firstly, in the animation, it seems like you demonstrate a game, with would dis-allow pre-rendering. Secondly your product is viewable by more than one person, ruling out a view dependant system (like mentioned earlier) similar to SeeReal’s idea. Thirdly, you say you cant afford to much court action, but this is all really complicated stuff, how did you afford the R&D?

    Ah, its a mystery, you have me befuddled. care to shed any light?

  • Theron says:

    Aw man, wrote a realy long one, but it didnt post and got lost

    basically what it boiled down to is rgb scanning lasers on a defracting gas.

    My problem with it is the massive quantities of data that this laptop has to process. It cant be pre rendered because you start showing an interactive game. Even with something like seereal’s view dependant system, (which you couldn’t have because yours is viewable by multiple persons right?) its still a stretch

    While I (personaly) think this product may be attractive, i still cannot see how volume holographic can be generated in real time full colour on a ……hold on, stop the press…holes holes holes

    no argumentative tones here, but explain if you will

    your movie starts with what looks like an interactive game, right?
    but you say “40 gig hard drive that delivers over 18 hours of compressed video”

    arg, brain not working, need sleep, been procrastination, real work need to be done on the morrow

  • Jan Vanbriel says:

    Dear Theron

    This is above my level, I send your reaction to my brother, the designer of the cube.
    He’s linving in Italy.

    We are not using an LCD screen and also not a laptop.

    We worked today all day on a new movie for the website with the camera on a dolly so people can see the cube 360 degrees. Next week the stands for the cube are ready so we will put it on our site on 25 th of February.

    RGB lasers on a diffracting gas sounds very very interesting.

    Our first goal now is to make a series of holocubes for an democratic price, so it will become reachable for a bigger public.

    Best and thanks

  • Kyran Cinflaria says:

    I got a little lost on the possible theories of how this would work, but it doesn’t look like this has anything to do with mirrors. Gas would move and so distort the picture so it can’t be some new neon technology. My best guess is that it has something to do w/ shortwave lasers and electricity traveling to a certain grid point like in a tesla coil.

    No matter what it is, I wish the best of luck to you guys and hope to see this on the market in a short time. Imagine playing mmorpg’s on this! The implications of a machine of this caliber are amazing.

    With hope,

Comments are closed.