Finally, fog can be used for something other than keeping planes grounded. A group of students at Japan's Osaka University have devised a way to use mist as the backdrop for a 3d hologram floating in midair. Using a stream of water vapor and three Pico projectors, the team has been able to render a levitating neon rabbit which can be seen from multiple angles as the viewer moves about the hovering rodent.
The holographic effect is created by taking advantage of the directionality of light dispersed by fog. Each of the three projectors presents an image of the rabbit taken from a different angle—if you stand at one angle, you are presented with the front image reflected through the fog, as you move to the side you'll be presented with the corresponding side of the bunny, etc. The end effect: an adorable Easter hologram.
The team claims they can create larger and more detailed images with more cameras. One might imagine this tech one day being used in conjunction with the University of Arizona's real time holographic broadcast technology. While the U of A version renders their holograms behind a solid plastic material, the Osaka fogograph would allow viewers to safely reach in and interact with the image. It wouldn't be Star Trek's Holodeck quite yet—in that the user would not receive any tactile feedback—however a Kinect-like motion sensor might allow real time three-dimensional interaction. Moistened hands would be the only drawback.
Check out the video below. It's as if the bunny is ready to plea for help from Obie-Wan at any moment, thus setting an epic space opera in motion.
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