Why Museums Should Use 360 Degree Displays

Why Museums Should Use 360 Degree Displays

January 26, 2010 – Mark J. Trumper

What do World War II fireguard helmets, Icelandic crystals, and 16th century bronze statues have in common? They are all objects that have been stolen from museums just this year. The helmets were stolen from the Museum of Reading over two dates - June 9 and July 11. The crystals (500 of them) were stolen October 18th from Berufijordur in Iceland. The uninsured collection is worth about $130,000 US Dollars, which is quite a loss for a private museum. The bronze statues, dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries and were stolen from a government museum in India.

What could have stopped these crimes? Increased security, for one. Security staff, cameras, and other such precautionary measures can be pricey, and unfortunately, no amount of manpower can guarantee that museum artifacts will not be stolen. There is one way to guarantee that something will not be stolen - for it not to be there. How is this possible? Through 360 degree holography, it is possible.

First off, what is holography? Well, it is the technique used to make holograms. It is a form of "drawing" an image so that the object appears as if it were really there - the orientation and position changes as you look at an object just as it would if you were really there. The light is the key - without the light you cannot see the image.

A new development in holography has given hope to museum owners and personnel who fear having their precious inventory stolen. The 3D holographic display uses a high-speed projector, along with a spinning mirror that is covered with a DVI interface (something that transmits pixels as binary data) and the result is a "picture" that looks just like you're looking at a three-dimensional object. It works from all sides and angles. It's just like the object is there...but it isn't.

These high-tech holographic images are a far cry from the first holograms, which were a by-product of research associated with electron microscopes. While they were trying to make electron microscopes better, they invented holograms.

As the technology has advanced, holography has become more accessible to more people. Solid-state lasers, which can be used to make holograms, are available at lower prices, and there are many artists and hobbyists who buy these devices and make their own holograms. Even before the less expensive technology was available artists were experimenting with holograms. In fact, Salvador Dali took credit for being the first artist to use the medium, but he wasn't. There are artists today who use holograms exclusively in their artwork.

So, why not employ this awesome technology to create holographic images of valuable artwork and artifacts? The art and artifacts can be obtained by a museum, who could become trained and equipped to create the images, and the art and artifacts could be stored someplace safer than out on display. Obviously, because the 360-degree holography is a recently new discovery, it will take some time before the availability is widespread, but why not educate museum staff about the process now, and start cataloging some inventory?

By Mark Trumper, President of MaverickLabel.com, the Internet's leading provider of custom labels, stickers and decals. From asset tags, to window decals to hologram stickers, MaverickLabel.com can provide all of your label needs. Call 1-800-537-8816.

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