Intractable holograms are part of everyday life in science fiction stories, what seemed like just a pipe dream has been made reality in a small lab in Japan. Although it’s not quite as advanced as the star ship enterprises’ holodeck, it marks the dawn of the technological journey that is about to ensue.
Developed by Digital Nature Group the femtosecond laser gives the user the feeling accompanied with touching a physical object. While this kind of laser has been used before in aerial plasma 3D graphics demonstrations, today it has been made safe for human touch for the first time. The break through comes from reducing the duration of laser bursts (from hi-res femtosecond lasers).
The holograms are made up of voxels, which are little dots of light that plasma emits when the laser focus ionizes the air. The tests so far have been 3D representations of 2D images, but this technology could also be used for more complicated things as well.
If you would like to read more about the project or see some of the other exciting things coming out of the Digital Nature lab, please check out their website.