Researchers Develop AI-Enabled Liquid Holographic Camera

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BEIJING, March 8, 2024 — Holography technology can restore the complete light field information of the recorded object, which has important applications in fields like biological microscopic imaging and optical micromanipulation. One important frontier in holography is the reconstruction of realistic 3D scenes. However, the development and application of holographic technology have been hindered by the huge amount of data of the 3D scenes and the laser coherence, which leads to the slow capturing speed of the real 3D scenes and the serious speckle noise of the holographic reproduced image.

A team of researchers has collaborated to develop a holographic camera based on liquid lens technology, capable of recording high-quality holograms of real 3D scenes in a matter of 150 ms.
The proposed holographic camera mainly consists of a liquid camera based on a large-aperture liquid lens and an end-to-end physical model-driven network. Courtesy of Wang, D., Li, ZS., Zheng, Y. et al.
The proposed holographic camera mainly consists of a liquid camera based on a large-aperture liquid lens and an end-to-end physical model-driven network. Courtesy of Wang, D., Li, ZS., Zheng, Y. et al.

According to the team led by Qiong-Hua Wang of Beihang University, and Song-Lin Zhuang and Da-Wei Zhang of the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology, the camera solves two major bottlenecks in existing holographic technology, namely the slow acquisition time and the low quality of reconstructed images.

The researchers used a liquid camera based on a large-aperture liquid lens and an end-to-end physical model-driven network (EEPMD-Net) in the holographic camera. The liquid lens with an aperture of 10 mm has low driving voltage, fast response speed, and a wide range of optical power, which ensures the fast and high-quality capture of real 3D scenes.

The liquid camera quickly captures the depth information of multiple focal planes of a scene. According to the researchers, if the captured information is directly used for diffraction calculations, it becomes impossible to obtain high-fidelity holograms. Instead, the EEPMD-Net is proposed as the software module. The EEPMD-Net takes in the information and processes it into a full-focused image and depth, quickly calculating the holograms of RGB channels of the scene, thereby producing high-fidelity holograms with low-noise phase generation.

The team expects the technology to see wide use in a variety of fields, including 3D display, measurement, and encryption, among other fields.

The research was published in Light Science & Applications (

Published: March 2024
Holography is a technique used to capture and reconstruct three-dimensional images using the principles of interference and diffraction of light. Unlike conventional photography, which records only the intensity of light, holography records both the intensity and phase information of light waves scattered from an object. This allows the faithful reproduction of the object's three-dimensional structure, including its depth, shape, and texture. The process of holography typically involves the...
machine vision
Machine vision, also known as computer vision or computer sight, refers to the technology that enables machines, typically computers, to interpret and understand visual information from the world, much like the human visual system. It involves the development and application of algorithms and systems that allow machines to acquire, process, analyze, and make decisions based on visual data. Key aspects of machine vision include: Image acquisition: Machine vision systems use various...
A light-tight box that receives light from an object or scene and focuses it to form an image on a light-sensitive material or a detector. The camera generally contains a lens of variable aperture and a shutter of variable speed to precisely control the exposure. In an electronic imaging system, the camera does not use chemical means to store the image, but takes advantage of the sensitivity of various detectors to different bands of the electromagnetic spectrum. These sensors are transducers...
An interference pattern that is recorded on a high-resolution plate, the two interfering beams formed by a coherent beam from a laser and light scattered by an object. If after processing, the plate is viewed correctly by monochromatic light, a three-dimensional image of the object is seen.
Imagingholographymachine visioncamerahologram3D3D imagingdepthdepth mapmeasurementTest & MeasurementOpticsBeihang UniversityUniversity of Shanghai for Science and TechnologyUniversity of ShanghaiChinaAsia-Pacific

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