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back to article Star Wars 3D holo displays becomes a reality

Boffins are one step closer to making R2-D2's holographic projector tech a reality, through a 3D display which makes images appear in mid-air with a rapidly moving laser beam. True 3D Technology Produced by Japanese outfit Burton and based on developments from AIST and Keio University, the display is able to produce around 50 …

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As someone said in another article

So many sci-fi dreams are coming true atm. Are we dreaming?

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next on the wish-list

Lightsabre !!

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Interesting

Was the box full of regular air or a certain gas?

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Megaphone

In the video, they said it was filled with water. A higher power laser is required to display images in air.

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Go

Also, when combined with adaptive optics technology, resolution, range and precision will be massively improved... Super cool!!!

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/11/16/adaptive_optics_for_rayguns/

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TRT
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Was that demo...

a frickin' shark?

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Go

Yes, nice.

Sharks [drawn] with lasers!!!!!

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BTTF2

Is that a BTTF2 reference per chance? :)

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Oh my...

How very, very cool.

One has to wonder, though, what happens if you were to stick you hand in the display, though. :)

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Headmaster

Droid types

Astromech dude, astromech :)

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Terminator

Early days yet but this could make scenes like this a reality... (Except maybe for the laser and plasma burns)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btaG034fJgg

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Rob
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Headmaster

I think I'm being pedantic

"...it is the world's first piece of kit to display images without the use of a screen..." really?

I'm pretty sure I saw many years back a device that projected a free floating image using water vapour/mist, from what I remember it was a German guy that developed it, I think he was even quoted as saying that he was developing 'hotspots' so that the image could be interactive.

(I may have even seen it on El Reg, clarification needed)

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@Rob

In that case, the vapour/mist act as the screen. The difference is that in such cases, you are artificially adding a component to the ambient in order to reflect the light, which means that the floating aerosol is as important a component as the image source, perhaps more.

Conversely, this new development does not rely on any "screen" component, but purely on the image generation technology and the molecules already naturally available in the environment. This is why it works equally well underwater as in the air.

-dZ.

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Anonymous Coward

You mean he projected it

on a screen of water vapour?

This is the first display device that doesn't require there to be something to project onto aside from the air itself- by the sounds of the article, it doesn't even need any fancy gasses. And if that's a green laser they're using (Rather than a green-tinted string of excited air), give it a few years and someone will have a red/green/blue version set up to give full colour "hologram" video.

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Wow. They look exactly like the very first Baird images, and see where we've got to from there.

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so...

what are the big laser shows that project into the air using? are they just hoping for cloud cover?

they seem to project an image or is it that this one is actually proper 3d and not some faux 3d thing?

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wim

concert lasers ?

Are you referring to lasers used in clubs and on concerts ?

They generally rely on a smoke component (smoke machine or cigarette wielding customers) to display their images. Also I doubt that the lasers can project complicated object as shown in the video here. I also think that most of the lasers shows are simple shapes and not 3D (circles, squares, triangles and so on)

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...you're my only hope!

I don't think the lead engineer on the project is old enough to have seen proper Star Wars, he looks about 12!

Interesting tech though, although I can't imagine seeing it outside of the glass case, I'd imagine the HSE would have something to say about plasma-inducing lasers...

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Presumably this wouldn't be very healthy to organic life forms if they got in the way; so whilst it may not have a screen, it does seem to be wrapped in box. Still, an interesting diversion from making cheap suits.

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Good Show !

Help me Obi Wan Kenobi you are my only hope

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Anonymous Coward

Sony did a laser projection onto water mist for a film about the loch ness monster if I remember correctly...

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To be more precise

They may have used holographic technologies inside the device, however the image is just glowing air. I assume they have a way to focus the laser beam dynamically. This means it's only focused at the focal point which will then 'glow' brightly (probably scattering on the dust or actual ionization) while the rest of the beam barely glows at all.

Shifting the focal point might be done by oil-based lenses which can be re-shaped by electric fields. They barely have any mass, so perhaps it is possible to control them at those speeds. Another way would be to use a MEMS mirror system like from a DLP. You could use holographic methods to use it to build a wave front. Perhaps that is enough for that application. (You can mask out a lot of unwanted signals)

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Actually not a holographic display

Holographic displays, which have been shown at tiny sizes in laboratories, mimic the whole wave front. So essentially the viewer can focus on close and far objects selectively yet still have opacity. This system cannot provide opacity nor can it show objects outside of the box. True holographic displays are able to do that.

Other than that, you can simply build such a system yourself by using a corkscrew shaped "plane" and making it rotate, projecting an image onto it. (e.g. with a modified high-speed video projector)

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Its causing plasma excitation of oxygen an nitrogen, which would cause nasty things(tm) (ions, gasses) to be released that you wouldn't want in your home.

That being said, they could improve this a lot by using an infra-red laser instead of a green one, so that you only saw the excited plasma (image) and not the beam itself scanning.

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TRT
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But...

the article implies that you can get full colour by using red green and blue lasers, so I don't think you are seeing the plasma itself, more like the laser being scattered by something left over from the plasma-bit, not sure what that is, though.

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Coat

Really disappointed (Stop sleeping at the wheel)

Obligatory, of course:

But can it play Crysis?

Now, about me coat...

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Holy crap!

Focusing Laser light to excite plasma in the Oxygen and Nitrogen molecules of the air? Ingenious! I'm officially stunned, and excited to see practical applications in the near future.

-dZ.

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FAIL

This was way better about 10 years ago...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_Traveler_(video_game)

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Facepalm

I mean 20 years ago...

God, I'm feeling old now.... :o)

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WTF?

Hatsune Miku

so http://youtu.be/DTXO7KGHtjI isn't real then? - I'm gutted!

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I'll admit that it's quite impressive, but is only a flat projection onto a flat, angled screen.

I like this more; you really get a different image depending on what angle you look from which means you can get real 3D depth perception too if the resolution is high enough. But even this isn't holographic; what is in focus when it is projected is always in focus and vice-versa:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKCUGQ-uo8c

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JDX
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50k pixels (voxels)

Is only 37x37x37 pixels, so we need about 1000X better resolution to be usable.

But it's still awesome.

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Anonymous Coward

>"Star Wars 3D holo displays becomes a reality"

Except that no they don't, because this is nothing like the detail and resolution of that, and there's actually a world of difference between a crude proof-of-concept with a handful of particle-style pixels and genunine real-world free space volumetric rendering. Biggest and most repeated mistake in the tech industry ever: assuming that because something is basically possible, it will scale. That's an assumption based on linearity, where most of the real world is non-linear.

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JDX
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re:assuming that because something is basically possible, it will scale

Well to be fair, the history of tech is how things that were once poxy prototypes are now $5 trinkets. Storage and display power have both improved by probably 1000X in the last 15 years.

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This post has been deleted by its author

I KNOW. MY WAY. AROUND. A ROPE. Help me Obi-wan your our only hope!

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It will need the box to stay

If they are using high enough laser powers to have a plasma reaction in the air then the lasers would be bright enough to blind. If you put your hand in the display a wedding ring or watch could reflect the beam to your eye and pop... So the box is going to have to stay for consumer versions and if that's the case there are alternatives for such a 3D display already.

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Other image display methods.

They use fireworks and lights to disply images without using screens at holiday periods in most western countries so he's wrong about his wild claim that this is the first piece of kit to do this.

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ouch my eyes! I expected to see a group of epileptics fitting on the floor.

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Anonymous Coward

That green one looks shit, it's all flickery.

I want to see MOAR of the other one they had, the one in air on the other side of a big room. That looked good.

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