Large-Scale Immersive Hologram to Show the Real Impact of Sea Level Rise

August 1, 2018

This research was made possible by a grant from the Coleman Foundation.



Jeremy Hajek, Industry Associate Professor of Information Technology and Management: The research project we’re working on with Florida Atlantic University is a unique opportunity. The whole goal is to evaluate sea level rise in the Fort Lauderdale area, the community, and the impact it is going to have on commercial, residential. And the idea is to show the community what these impacts are going to be.

Now Florida Atlantic University is researching this; they’re doing sediment studies and the engagement studies. We’ve been contracted to build a large-scale immersive hologram, the subject the area in question, in 3-D. And the people can see the area, can see the physical impact, can walk through it as opposed to a traditional 2-D map, PowerPoint slide, or even a scale model that they’d seen before.

Paul Arguillere (ITM Graduate Student): What are we working on right now is to model with the city, like a block of a city, and we would eventually simulate the rise of the water. Because we are working on a project in Florida where scientists say that the water is going to rise eventually. So our goal is to modelize this, animate it, and raise awareness amongst the local population to basically educate them and show them how it’s going to be.

Hajek: Well, the exciting things about this and the exciting things for students are we have an opportunity here, a rare opportunity in technology, where we see multiple things come together. So we’ve had television, we’ve had telescopes, right, but now we see the opportunity for something called telepresence to be actually used. We’ve seen this in the movies, we’ve seen this in science fiction, but with pervasive internet, holograms representing real locations, I could get real-time information being thousands of miles away.

One step further, I could affect objects thousands of miles away via a telepresence framework over the network via standard applications. So we’re moving computing off of 2-D, from a standard desktop screen, and we’re moving it into space, meaning three dimensions, and we’re adding concepts of telepresence. So what we saw in the movies, science fiction, now becomes reality, and it’s in your hands.

What can we do with it? Well, the sky is the limit.