By GREGORY ZELLER //
Real-world holograms are closer than you maybe thought – and a new, potentially lucrative U.S. patent might keep a Long Island college ahead of the holographic-entertainment curve.
Syosset-based New York College of Health Professions, a circa-1984 nonprofit private college chartered by the state Board of Regents, has landed U.S. Patent No. 9,693,140, covering technology that could turn traditional wireless speakers into holographic emitters straight from the Starship Enterprise.
The not-quite-perfected tech is coming soon, according to NYCHP President Lisa Pamintuan, who’s betting heavy on inventor Donald Spector – a self-styled philanthropist/futurist with a billion-dollar track record of entrepreneurial success. (“Track” being the operative word: The tinkerer parlayed winnings from a relative’s uber-successful racehorse, John Henry, into the world’s first electronic air fresheners and kinda took off from there).
It may seem like “Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi”-level holograms are the stuff of pure fantasy, but they’re not, according to Pamintuan – and you’re not thinking big enough, if you think the imminent technology will be limited to ghostly blue person-to-person calls.
“So much for audio or video as we now know it,” Pamintuan said. “Soon you will have both in a new dimension, with real-life holographic images coming into your home.”
By “soon,” the NYCHP president means “in the next couple of years,” about how long it will take for the technology to be consumer-ready. Ultimately, the holographic emitters won’t require special glasses or headsets – they’ll simply project three-dimensional images of singers, landscapes, zoos and other entertainments, as well as seasonal or soothing imagery (Christmas trees and waterfalls, for instance).
It’s “a new frontier in home entertainment,” according to NYCHP, and with the patent in hand, the college is lined up nicely for what it “hopes will become a billion-dollar business.”
At a minimum, Pamintuan noted, the patent “will increase the college’s world-class intellectual property portfolio,” and when you’re in league with the likes of Spector, the college’s chairman emeritus, that’s always an intriguing prospect.
Spector has patented a dazzling range of space-age technologies and processes. He’s possibly best known (for a relatively under-the-radar super-inventor) for U.S. Patent No. 8,823,512, covering a wearable-biosensor tech that he donated to the college, as he has done with many of his 300-odd patents. (For the record, Spector’s patent was issued in 2014, predating many global tech firms now pumping out wearable sensors).
The chairman has proven to be the lifeblood of NYCHP, which offers institutionally accredited undergraduate and graduate-level degree programs in massage therapy, acupuncture and herbal medicine and certificate programs covering holistic nursing and “the science of self-improvement” at campuses in Syosset, New York City and Luoyang, a city in the Henan province of The People’s Republic of China.
Among Spector’s other greatest hits: the word’s first hydraulic exercise machine, the first hyperbaric chamber for seeds, an oral thermometer that uses a microscopic camera to diagnose bacterial infections through the throat, an experimental tech that turns smartphones into listening devices that pick up the sounds of persons in distress and alerts the phone owner, and hundreds of other patents covering toys, candy, computers, high-tech security systems and more.
The holography technology secured by the new patent combines WiFi, internet streaming and cutting-edge projector tech. Spector doesn’t master every new invention alone, and in the case of holograms, he’s in “serious discussions” with Chris Carmichael, CEO of Ubiquity Inc., a California-based developer of next-level private IP, according to Pamintuan.
Their mutual goal, the college president noted, is “development of this patent to its fullest potential as a multi-billion-dollar business.”
With “holography in its infancy,” such 10-digit (or more) predictions put the cart before the holographic horse, according to Spector, but not by much. The technology may be newborn, but it’s mature enough for the prolific inventor to project a likely retail price: under a thousand dollars at first, he said, with “the home version” eventually selling for a couple of hundred.
“You may have seen [holography] at theme parks or other entertainment venues, but now it will be the next generation in home entertainment,” Spector said in a statement. “You will basically see live performers in your home.”