The BBC is testing a holographic television inspired by 'Star Wars'

BBC hologramBBC/YouTubeBBC holographic TV.

The BBC is testing technology that could one day see the stars of “Strictly Come Dancing” pirouetting on your living room coffee table.

The British broadcaster has created an experimental holographic television, inspired by the Princess Leia hologram in “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.”

In a blog explaining the innovation, the BBC said it created the holographic TV using “existing technologies and simple techniques.”

Here’s how it works:

  • The BBC took a large flat-screen television from the office and worked with a plastics cutter to create a simple acrylic pyramid shape.
  • By placing the pyramid on top of the screen, the BBC recreated an old Victorian theatre trick — known as the Pepper’s Ghost effect — which projects the on-screen image into the pyramid.
  • The broadcaster worked with visual effects company MDH Hologram to tweak some iconic archive footage and bring it to life in the acrylic pyramid. Images include the New Year’s Eve fireworks at the London Eye and the T. Rex from “Walking With Dinosaurs.”

BBC head of digital partnerships Cyrus Saihan said: “The device that we made gives us an extremely lo-fi and low-cost way to assess how the ‘floating’ images of augmented and mixed reality devices, which aren’t readily available for audience testing, might be used to view BBC content in the future.”

He added that there are limitations to the BBC’s creation, however. It will only work with certain types of images and needs to be seen in low light. The pyramid is also relatively small.

“Our experiment was fairly simplistic, but the new technologies on the horizon have the potential to completely change the way that audiences experience media content in the future,” Saihan added.

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