ASA Adjudication on Musion Systems Ltd
Musion Systems Ltd
35 Portland Place
12 September 2012
Internet (on own site)
Number of complaints:
Claims on a website for Eyeliner projection technology, www.musion.co.uk, headed "Musion Eyeliner 3D Holographic Projection" stated "Musion Eyeliner is a high definition 3D holographic video projection system allowing a spectacular 3-dimensional moving life-size hologram to appear within a live stage setting using Peppers Ghost technology. Eyeliner brings dramatic, previously unseen 21st century video film effects to live events, including audiovisual artistic performances, conference or trade show presentations, retail displays and large-scale digital signage. Musion Eyeliner uses a specially developed foil that reflects images from high definition video projectors, making it possible to produce virtual holographic images of variable sizes and incredible clarity, using industry standard software. Infinitely configurable, the virtual hologram appears within a stage set. Musions's 3D holographic projection system has amazed both clients and audiences alike. The Musion Eyeliner 3D Projection system is a unique, dynamic approach to delivering 3-dimensional holographic effects to new media content. Musion Eyeliner is unique worldwide and protected by patents granted in countries all over the world". The ad included a video that featured a demonstration of the technology.
The complainant challenged whether the claims that the technology produced a 3D hologram were misleading and could be substantiated.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
Musion Systems (Musion) said they designed, promoted and installed projection apparatus. They said the Musion system involved lights, drapes and projectors being attached to a stage and a truss frame, with a transparent foil, which was invisible to the audience, across the entire front of the stage area. They explained that the image in isolation started as a flat 2D image however they applied a process to display it in a form representative of a 3D hologram, because it was free floating, opaque, moving and very much 3D. The 3D effect was created by combination of a filming process, projection and its reflective screen, a foil and lighting arranged around the area of projection in a 3D arrangement. They said the cuboid of light, viewed within the frame of reference, formed a 3D image. They said the holographic image was achieved by reflecting light through a transparent mirror, and not onto a screen, so it was free floating in space and was able to layer over, or appear in the same plane as, a real object. They submitted an image as an example of how the effect was created. Musion said the foil reflected projected images of high definition quality on a giant scale to appear to the audience as 3D floating images on stage that appeared opaque and virtual or, more commonly, holographic.
They said there was a lack of a definitive description for the word "hologram", and in reality, their technology presented a 2D flat image which presented the effect of a 3D hologram. However, the visual effect was what the general public and the media, for example, perceived to be a real hologram. They said a hologram was essentially a floating effect that gave the impression of 3D and they described the effect as a 3D hologram, because it was in line with broadly accepted language. Musion said it was accepted that, for example, an icon on a credit card, which was a 2D flat image that created the effect of a 3D hologram, was described as a hologram. They said that 3D cinema also began as 2D images and a 3D effect appeared only when viewing glasses were worn. They explained their reluctance to use the term "hologram" and said that they only did so to relate to their global audience for the simplicity of technological expression. They provided us with a quote from their director, who described the technology as "more of a holographic projection than a true hologram".
They stated there was no accepted definition of the term "3D hologram" and that in reality, there was no 'real' three dimensional effect viewable from 360 degrees in existence because some images might be visible from the front, sides, rear, or all three, but would not be holographic from above or below. They said some effects, like Musion's technology, would be visible from the front and various side angles, but not from the rear or below. They said that therefore led them to claim that, whilst their technology did not give a true 3D image, it gave a 3D impression. They said it was necessary to use such broadly accepted terms and those terms did not exaggerate the technology or mislead customers. Musion referred to the term's usage in the patents they had been granted by global patent offices. They provided extracts from some of the patents to demonstrate how Musion achieved a 3D look for a 2D image and in some cases a holographic look as well as how best to achieve realism in the effects, to increase the illusion of the virtual image having 3D effects despite it being a 2D projection. They believed that their competitors also used the term, regardless of the actual technique they used to create such an effect, and said they used the term to remain competitive. Musion also submitted examples of "3D" and "hologram" being used in the media in relation to the effect their system created.
The ASA noted the effect produced was not genuinely three dimensional, because it could not be viewed through 360 degrees, and also did not use holography. While we considered some of the claims in the ad were likely to be interpreted as suggesting the technology produced a genuine 3D hologram, we noted the ad also referred to "21st century video film effects" and "3-dimensional holographic effects", for example, which we considered helped to explain that Musion produced a visual effect only, rather than a genuine 3D hologram. In that context, we considered potential customers would expect the system to produce an effect that gave the illusion of depth, which we understood the projected effect did produce. We also considered viewers of the ad would not interpret the claims literally and would not, for example, especially in the context of a stage show or other entertainment event (which the ad referred to), expect the audience to be able to see the same effect of depth close up or from all sides of the projected image. In that context, we therefore concluded that the claims were not misleading.
We investigated the ad under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation) and 3.11 (Exaggeration) but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.