Technology has taken a huge leap, as Japanese scientists created holograms you can touch and manipulate with your very own hands. This is even though holograms themselves as simple projections are still matters to marvel at for most. And yet, steps forward are already being taken.
Researchers at the Utsunomiya University have developed a new way of creating holograms by adding one factor that was so far missing: interaction. Using “femtosecond laser technology”, they managed to achieve the remarkable goal of making projections palpable. Meaning that your hand will neither pass through the laser and disrupt the image, nor will your skin get burned.
According lead author of the study and researcher for Optical Research and Education at the university, Yoichi Ochiai, this could potentially change people’s daily lives. It would be an exceptional way of communication and presentation, especially for several fields such as medicine, construction, and architecture. Or, perhaps there will be open options for entertainment.
High-intensity and high-speed lasers
The exceptional new “femtosecond laser technology” uses lasers that travel at unimaginable speeds of one millionth of one billionth of a second. These respond to touch, which means that humans can effectively manipulate the projections mid air. For example, they would be able to turn around an object to get a better view of the 3D image.
In order to create the projection, the technology uses high-intensity, high-speed lasers, cameras, and mirrors to make sure the points of light are directed in a specific location. The tiny points of light created are called voxels, reaching resolutions of 200,000 dots per second. So far, they have not managed to create objects that are more than 8 millimeters wide, but they can be controlled from 3 feet away.
Current technology does not allow humans to interact with the light. However, Ochiai’s high-intensity and high-speed lasers allow for this to change. You could actually feel a video or an image projected. This means that the illusion will be all the more real, according to the researcher. Previous technologies who experimented on the same issue also met a major hitch because the lasers burned human skin.
However, the fast bursts of light appeared harmless to touch. And, according to Ochiai, they felt like sandpaper when touched. The pulses also respond, so that when the hologram won’t be interrupted, and instead it will be manipulated. It holds endless possibilities for numerous fields.
Further advancement could make it possible for people to have projections of keyboards in front of them and feel as they’re hitting the letters to type. It will insert touch in an otherwise virtual plane.
Image source: gizmodo.com