The Holo-Projector Table is a piece of arcanotech that was born in the sci-fi art of the early petroleum era, with a very simple concept, a table that projects 3D images above it. These were most commonly seen in command and control positions, surrounded by important people in important uniforms, flanked by less important people with slates and less important uniforms. Battles would be displayed across the table with units moving in real time. Or a location like a ship or theme park would be monitored sector by sector while the command staff issued orders and ran diagnostics.
The HPT is a fantastic tool, it allows for a small group of people to monitor a much larger situation, be it a mundane issue like civilian traffic in an arco, airspace above an aerodrome, and those cliche things, the battles fought out in hard light, delightful.
The Home HPT
While very large HPTs were built, these were by far the minority. Fitting an HPT to a ship or a command center required each unit to be all but custom built, and many were so large that the unit would have to be installed while the facility was under construction, existing tables simply couldnt be rolled through a door, and were often too complicated and sensitive to be dismantled, moved, and reassembled in anything less than a static free clean room.
The majority of HPTs were sold for home and private use. The HPT replaced the old digital television sets of the petroleum era, and were quite the thing to have for a number of decades prior to the development of immersive and cognitive systems. The HPT represents the state of the art in 3D viewing, and was only replaced when technology allowed for entertainment to be streamed directly into the brain.
The Home Set - formerly the centerpiece of the home entertainment center, the HPT was commonly found as the focal point of the family living room. The unit could be used for gaming, watching events, and for projecting soothing elements, such as pretending to be a floral display, an aquarium, or a pedestal for art display.
The Holo-Room - mutliple units could be linked together and placed throughout a room or closed environment to create a 'holodeck' experience. While there was no tactile or scent component, clever use of props, aromatics, and barriers could turn a mundane space into another planet, the interior of a famous spaceship, or a walk through the past. HoloTag businesses would run such ventures allowing guests to experience holographic linear adventures, complete with light guns and other gear simulating everything from fighting world war battles, zombie hordes, to going on dinosaur hunts.
The personal Einfuhlungkhuler or Empathy Generator combines the ability to stimulate the delta and theta brain waves with creating ambient imagery and sounds. PEG-HPTs are small, and unobtrusive, and will look like plant and water features, or art that the owner finds soothing. These are used to help owners sleep, or to cancel out stress causing elements like being located too close to a mechanical zone, or transit zone.
The Commercial HPT
The commercial version of the HPT does away with the table functionality and makes it an in ground feature. Commercial and corporate HPTs are set up in public areas where the units are used to project commercials and advertisements for pedestrians and passers-by.
The Macrophile 9K is the largest HPT on the market and is remarkable for it's ability to generate an ultra HD holographic image that is up to 1 million cubic meters in size (100m cube). The most well known use of Macrophile generators are their 90 meter tall holo-women that are used in varying advert campaigns. There are two limitations of the 9K and those are that when running, people cannot safely cross the HPT surface without suffering internal burns, potential blindness, sensory overload, or electrocution. The generator is also not as effective during inclement weather, so it is usually powered down during rain or sand storms.
Mobile HPTs are used by police and construction operations to create barriers to prevent pedestrian voyeurism, especially around crime scenes, or in VIP events where outside observers are not welcome. The Red Wall replaces the Red Carpet, as it were. Yellow walls can be popped up to protect crime or danger zones, and so forth. These need not be cube shaped, and many of these 'curtain' style projectors are bar shaped.
CIC and the HPT
The HPT was created for the command information center to function as it's focal point. In this role, the HPT does exactly what it is supposed to, and the CICs that used them did very well with efficiency and rapid response times. The units were never adopted for widescale use despite this, and there were a number of problems that plagued the HPT in a command position.
Hacking - as a focal point of information and command structures, the HPT had to have access to all of the requisite systems to generate it's holo-wizardry. This made it entirely too easy for a smart hacker to get into just the table itself and gain access to the rest of the CIC systems. Hackers who did access CIC-HPTs cuold simply piggy back data out, giving their clients full access to everything 'on the table'. They could subvert various systems, allowing for ops to sneak through, feed back tons of false data, and otherwise wreak havoc by creating tons of threats or hiding all of them. Finally, if the hacker could force the HPT to shut down, it could cascade through the CIC and shut down other systems. This is known as a Cylon Strike, and when successful it can power down a ship or arcology completely for hours or even days while engineers and techs are forced to reboot the entire system from zero.
Over-Reliance - teams that trained around HPTs proved unable to function without access to the HPTs. This is a common problem in high tech forces, where the reliance on SmartGuns, droids, and other demi-sentient tech has rendered said forces completely helpless in the event of EMPs, cyberdenial attacks, and other anti-tech warfare techniques.
Myths and Rumors
Holo-City - there are solipsitic conspiracies that many cities and even all of the offworld colonies are fake, and that the images from these locations are either computer wizardy, or are the work of city sized holo-projectors. Conversely, there are counter theories that state that there are even more colonies and installations out there that are being concealed by holoprojectors. Arguments about radar and DRADIS systems being able to penetrate any hologram tend to fall on deaf ears.
Holo-ship - similar to the Potemkin ship, the holo-ship is a self propelled holo-projector that changes the appearance of the ship to match whatever the crew wants it to look like. Again, radar and DRADIS systems do not rely on visible light, and ships have transponders to identify themselves. There are no holo-dreadnaughts pretending to be cargo ships, and no holo-probes pretending to be massive battlestations. Sensors are not fooled like the human eye can be.