Hologram sector 'should look to new applications'

Hologram conceptWhile applications will remain an important application of holography, the industry should look for new uses for the medium, according to the outgoing general secretary of the International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA).

Ian Lancaster, who is retiring after more than 20 years heading the IHMA, said the industry needs to think more about holography "as a means to capture, store and control light rather than just as an imaging medium."

Holograms are increasingly being used not just for security and packaging embellishments but also in areas such as lighting control, electro-optical devices, and vehicle lights and instrumentation, he said.

The interest in holographic optical elements (HOEs), which take advantage of holograms’ ability to control light, and nano-optical devices, by the likes of Microsoft and Google are also indicative of the potential of the technology.

The holography sector's ability to innovate "is shown in its historical key application as a security feature, as it continues to fight off competition from alternative technologies and provide a platform for driving developments in security documents, such as windows in banknotes."

"From cutting edge developments such as surface plasmonic devices to highly accurate demetallisation in register - as seen on the newest banknotes - it is a forward looking industry," said Lancaster.

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