In the last post of 100 Days of Holograms, Shawn highlighted the holographic resurrections of extinct animals, like the Wooly Mammoth and Dodo. While it’s cool to see animals that have gone extinct in 3D, we can all agree that we want the amount of those animals to remain slim.
Alex Hornstein, CTO at Looking Glass Factory, has found a way to capture quite a few specimens in a way that illuminates their beauty as holographic, timeless artifacts while prioritizing the conservation of their natural habitat, their boundaries, and their survival.
Hornstein visited Nonsuch Island in Bermuda, where he collaborated with JP Rouja and Nonsuch Expeditions to successfully film chicks from the dangerously endangered Cahow species. There are only 135 mating pairs of this bird species left and all of them nest in Nonsuch.
He also filmed a Mottled Sea Hare in collaboration with Chris Flook, a collector at Bermuda Institute of Science, and JP Rouja. Flook scooped the sea hare off of a dock near the institute and JP set up the photography tank used to capture it.
In his lab in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, Alex Hornstein built a special lightfield camera setup, using LED grow lights to simulate night and day, to capture flowering Christmas Cacti. Every minute, a lightfield capture was taken of the plant and the resulting footage is sped up by 3,600 to create a holographic timelapse of its bloom.
In his piece “A Holographic Approach to Conservation”, he writes that this work is “a proof of concept of a third way to represent wild animals in human environments. It is my hope that this can develop further into a range of techniques for filming and viewing wild animals in their natural habitat, as an alternative to viewing animals in captivity or bringing large numbers of humans out to the fragile ecosystems where these animals live.”
And in the spirit of SHARK WEEK….
Next up, #9: Holograms Reacting to the World
*this is part of our “100 Days of Holograms” series, where Missy Senteio and Shawn Frayne of Looking Glass Factory post one new wonderful or weird (or both!) use for the Looking Glass holographic display each day.