India began its Republic Day celebrations from 23 January, a first, to include the birth anniversary of late freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
To mark the occasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the hologram statue of the freedom fighter at India Gate in Delhi amid much fanfare and pomp. The hologram will stay in place till the time the work for the "grand statue" of Netaji, made of granite, is completed.
Addressing a gathering after unveiling a hologram statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at the India Gate on the 125th birth anniversary of the iconic freedom fighter, Modi also said no power in the world can prevent the country from achieving its goal of building a 'new India' before the hundredth year of independence in 2047.
As the country celebrates this event, take a look at the science behind the hologram and other instances the technology has been used in the past.
What is a 3D hologram?
Let’s start with the basics of this technology which isn’t used very often.
Holograms are virtual three-dimensional images created by the interference of light beams that reflect real physical objects.
Holography, the science of creating these images, is a unique method of photography whereby 3D objects are recorded using a laser and then restored as precisely as possible to match the originally recorded object. When illuminated via a laser, holograms are able to form an exact 3D clone of the object and duplicate its features.
Unlike a conventional film on a standard screen, a 3D hologram can be viewed from all sides. This means that the observer can walk around the projected image, providing a realistic experience.
How to make a 3D hologram?
While this may sound very technologically advanced, it actually isn’t.
One can actually make a 3D hologram at home — by simply using their smartphone and some common household materials. There are tonnes of videos on YouTube that show you the process of making a 3D hologram from a smartphone.
You can use any smartphone and all that you need is a plastic CD/DVD case (the ones that came with movies and games), a graph paper (for accurate measurements), knife, scissors, glue and tape.
In 2015, a video had gone viral on YouTube. This video shows the simple steps of creating a hologram. You can check it HERE.
This brings us to the hologram at Netaji’s hologram at India Gate. The technology will be in use till a granite statue of the freedom fighter is installed at the spot.
Reported information states that the hologram measures 28 feet high and 6 feet wide and will be powered by a 4K projector capable of delivering brightness levels of 30,000 lumens.
While we don't know the price of the hologram, News18 has reported that the projectors used for such a project usually cost above Rs 15 lakh for a unit.
The PMO also said in a statement that an invisible, high gain, 90 per cent transparent holographic screen has been erected in a way that it is not visible to visitors.
Modi’s tryst with holograms
This is not the first time that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has used the hologram technology.
Who can forget the 2014 Lok Sabha election campaign when Modi appeared as a hologram on multiple occasions in an attempt to reach out to larger audiences?
In April 2014, Modi became a pioneer in election campaigning when he became the first political leader to have a 3D hologram of himself.
Looking forward to addressing people across India via 3D technology this evening. Sharing list of locations http://t.co/kkDu5U7Jhi
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 11, 2014
For the unversed, the Modi hologram, according to a Rediff report, was created by cinematographer Senthil Kumar.
The report says that Kumar, who trained in holographic technology in London, first met Modi before the Gujarat Assembly election in 2012.
Kumar says, in the report, that he was surprised when Modi started talking about holograms. "He had spent time learning about holograms and spoke about the technology for about 25 minutes. After he spoke, we showed him what he said in hologram so that he could get an idea how it worked. He was happy and said we shall use it in the assembly election," Kumar was quoted as saying in the Rediff report.
Incidentally, before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Modi had used this technology while running for state elections in 2012.
Other popular holograms
While Modi may be the first to use the tech in India, it has been around for some time and has been used to bring dead celebrities back to ‘life’.
Famous US rapper Tupac was brought back to life in hologram form in 2012 for the 2012 Coachella music festival.
In 2014, the King of Pop Michael Jackson stole the show at the Billboard Awards when a hologram of the late singer made its debut during the show, performing Slave to the Rhythm, moonwalking across the stage and mirroring many of the pop icon's signature moves.
This happened five years after he died on 25 June 2009.
In 2016, for the film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Industrial Light & Magic used CGI to animate actors Peter Cushing and Carrie Fisher as Grand Moff Tarkin and Princess Leia Organa, respectively. But Cushing had died in 1994; and the Leia Organa onscreen was a young Fisher, as in the first Star Wars film.
In 2007, a holographic former US vice president Al Gore and more than 100 of the biggest names in music, including Madonna, the Police and Kanye West, sought to raise awareness about climate change during a Live Earth concert.
With inputs from agencies