Bringing Holograms to Life.

Our Story

One warm night in the middle of Boston winter, Zack and Catherine were walking around on MIT’s Sloan Business School campus when they stumbled upon an illuminated glass chandelier, an art installation hanging above the entrance of a building with marble floors. Surrounding the enclosure were two other chandeliers reflecting off the glass walls. Light bounced off the original chandelier to create perfect holographic illusions. The scene took Zack and Catherine's breath away.

They started brainstorming how to use light in creative ways to design even more holograms. They fantasized about seeing Mother 3, their favorite retro video game, on a tabletop, holographic display. New Pork City would emerge from the table in a miniature world made of light, and Lucas and Claus could battle each other in a real 3D environment.

Soon Zack and Catherine discovered that introducing holograms as a medium could revolutionize fields beyond the entertainment industries. For instance, those in the medical industry would use it to visualize the internal organs of their patients to better diagnose their problems. In the fabrication and prototyping industry, mechanical engineers could design their parts in true 3D.

Combining physics, electrical engineering, and hacker ethos, Zack and Catherine designed a few novel ways to produce holograms, one of which involves shooting two invisible lasers at a synthetic material to emit visible light. After a month of research, they decided that bringing holograms to life was a hard problem, but that it was possible… thus the journey for Dimension Holograms began!

Today's "holographic displays" only give the illusion of volume. We want to bring holograms to life, which means:

  • inventing a volumetric display that creates a shared augmented reality among multiple viewers and angles.
  • making the display cost-effective, so the average consumer can get their hands on it and integrate it into their life.
  • targeting applications to augment the design, work, and entertainment experiences.

Timeline

Jan. 13, 2020 - Began Project

In a conversation about photon upconversion and CRTs, Zack explained his idea for creating holograms that involves two lasers exciting a point in space. Catherine thought it was a great idea and they began exploring the idea more.

Feb. 3rd, 2020 - Filed Provisional Patent

Filed provisional patent for micro-nano scale circuits for photon upconversion and inkjet-printing OLEDs/ QLEDs for use in manufacturing volumetric displays, titled Construction and Manufacturing Process of a Dynamic 3D Holographic Display.

Feb. 22nd, 2020 - Completed First Prototype

Completed a first prototype using a spinning helical display using materials from MakeMIT. This allows an image to hit every point on the surface. Here are some pictures and videos of our process: 1: demo

Mar. 5th, 2020 - Presented Prototype

Presented first prototype (spinning helical display) at the showcase located at the MIT Museum to investors for MIT's Sandbox program. Here are some videos and pictures from the event: 1: presenting to a curious crowd

Summer, 2020 - Goals

Continue growing our project as part of the DeltaV MIT Startup accelerator program, build a hand-held video-game console using the spinning helical display, run a Kickstarter to distribute the device to the masses.

Our Team

Zachary Pitcher

Zack is an MIT senior in EECS who loves to build projects that combine technology with creative expression. He will begin his Masters of Engineering in nanoelectronics, materials, and manufacturing Fall of 2020. He has LA-ed for 6.115 Microcomputer project labs, designed and built a 3phi alternistor load switch as a researcher in the Power Electronics and Power Systems Lab at MIT RLE, and awarded MIT Sandbox funding for building universal controller adaptor. He has participated in HackMIT twice and recently won the Niantic AR Prize (along with Catherine, winning $4,000). His dream is to make innovative technology that inspires people in the way that other inventors have for him in the past.

Catherine Zeng

Catherine is a senior studying EECS at MIT. She will begin her Masters of Engineering at MIT in the Applied Physics concentration starting Fall 2020. She used to be a nationally acclaimed classical pianist and went to performing arts schools majoring in piano for seven years prior to MIT. She loves to work on projects & has won prizes at hackathons including Top 10 at HackMIT (3x), the Best Internet of Things Prize, and Niantic AR Prize. She also has built a boba machine, Lambda Tea Corporation, with friends built was funded by Y Combinator, subsequently participated in YC's Winter 2018 batch, and runs Applihood.com which has helped hundreds of high schoolers get into their dream schools. Outside of entrepreneurship, Catherine likes to play piano (she is currently in a rock band), and Smash (n64 & melee).

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The best way to contact us is to email us at zat@mit.edu.

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