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What Are the Different Types of Holograms?

J. Gonzalez
J. Gonzalez

Holograms are images that are captured in a three-dimensional form and are presented on a two-dimensional surface. When looking at holograms, one might have the sensation that the image being seen is actually right in front of him or her, when in fact, it is not. These holographic images are like looking at a three-dimensional movie without having to use the special three-dimensional glasses. There are many types of holograms, such as an embossed hologram, a reflection hologram and a rainbow hologram, to name a few.

An embossed hologram is a transparent type of image that typically is used in security measures because the image is extremely complex and difficult to recreate. Embossed images have one single color for each light source being used. After an image is created, a mirror effect is placed behind the original picture, which creates an effect that makes it seem as if the original image has been multiplied. The image is embedded into an object by the heat and pressure of a metal stamp. Embossed holograms are more commonly seen in everyday life.

Woman holding a disc
Woman holding a disc

A reflection hologram forms an image by reflecting light. Reflection holograms are created when a white incandescent light is used to light the image, which in turn causes the holographic effect. Light is held at a precise angle and distance, and the holographic picture is shown on the same side as the person viewing the image. With this type of hologram, a person is seeing the image in a true three-dimensional form, up close and personal. Unlike others, this hologram can be seen in regular light.

Rainbow holograms are also known as Benton holograms, after Dr. Stephen Benton, who was the creator of this type of image. It is best described as a hologram of a hologram, with one light being shown in various directions. This causes the viewer to see different colors that change depending on the stance of the viewer when the image is being projected. If viewing this image from above or below, the image might not appear to change even though it has.

Holographic images are used in many different ways. Some are used on stationary items such as credit cards and stickers, and others are used as light sources in many light shows that are seen in places such as theme parks. Wherever one might see them, they can bring a sense of joy and excitement to people of all ages.

Discussion Comments


@Chmander - Despite the tragedy of what happened to Philip Hoffman, I'm sure technology is more than capable of handling itself, and there's probably nothing to worry about. After reading this article about holograms, I'm now convinced that technology has advanced so much, that some "illusions" are basically the real person. It's disturbing, but true.


@Viranty - Wow, really? I had no idea he passed away. On the other hand, I find it kind of disturbing that he's being digitally recreated for the movie. I understand that he has a very important role, but it just doesn't seem right. It's as if they're creating an illusion that he's there, when he's really not. Due to how advanced technology has become in this day and age, maybe we won't even be able to tell he was digitally recreated. However, I still feel a bit uneasy about this.


@Chmander - I've never heard of the Gorillaz before, but I do know how that sort of technology works. In fact, it can even be used to bring people back to life, figuratively speaking. Let's use Philip Hoffman as an example. About a week ago, it was reported that he passed away. Considering how he plays a major role in the Hunger Games movies, this is very unfortunate. However, it's been rumored that he's being digitally recreated for Mockingjay parts one and two. That's very interesting, isn't it?


Holograms are quite fascinating. Has anyone heard of a virtual band called the Gorillaz? They are entirely fictional, but they've "performed" on stage several times through the use of holographic technology. It's quite a freaky sight, especially considering how they aren't real. Nonetheless, it's also very interesting. One can only wonder where holographic technology is headed for the future. Only time will tell.


An amazing thing about hologram pictures made on glass is that the entire image of the hologram can be seen in even a small part of the glass. So if the glass negative shatters, by picking up a small piece a person could see every part of the holographic image. And, by turning the shard and looking through it at a different angle, the image can also be seen from that angle of perspective.

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