Aerial Burton, a Japanese company, has developed a way to show holograms in mid-air, without needing a surface (like smoke or water vapour) to reflect light.
Moving 3D images are created by combining a 1kHz infrared pulse laser with a 3D scanner. The scanner focuses the laser on specific points in the air; the laser then ionises molecules, creating pockets of plasma that give off energy as photons (light). These light flashes last a very short time, so the laser has to pulse constantly to maintain the image.
Aerial Burton hopes to increase the technology’s resolution and use it for signalling in an emergency. The first prototype is already small enough to be mounted in a car. Watch a video at http://tinyurl.com/nb8kp3w.
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Now it’s just a short step to Star Wars! (TA)