3D, 360-degree fog display shown off (w/ video)

Mar 18, 2011 by Katie Gatto weblog

(PhysOrg.com) -- Any fan of Star Trek knows about the joys of the holodeck. The idea of a 3D, 360-degree immersive digital environment, projected on demand, is an enticing one that has thus far been confined to the silver screen, but technologies are emerging that just may make this possible. In 2008 Physorg reported on a 3D fog display on a room-sized scale, but it could not give a 360 degree experience. New developments in this area may make this possible at some point in the future.

Researchers at Osaka University in Japan have made a 3D and 360-degree display that projects from a variety of different angles onto a cylindrical display. This combination of multiple-point of view projectors and the cylinder allows for a display that is 3D no matter what side you view it from, though in order to get a holodeck style of projection a much larger set of projectors, and a lot more fog, would need to be on hand. In order to project into the one cylinder of fog, it took three projectors. So for now, don't expect to be able to get your virtual playground on for at least a few more years, since a system like this would undoubtedly be expensive to install and maintain.

The researchers expect that at some unnamed time in the future the technology will have applications in both the entertainment and health care arenas. As is usually the case with experimental prototypes there is no word yet on when we can expect to see these 360, 3D displays in use, in the real world, so don't hold your breath.

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User comments : 8

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DarwiN100
3.5 / 5 (6) Mar 18, 2011
Not impressed, sorry.
Birthmark
3.3 / 5 (4) Mar 18, 2011
Not impressed, sorry.


It's a step forward, it's not meant to blow people's minds, but rather excite people for future implications :D Does me!
DarwiN100
2.3 / 5 (7) Mar 18, 2011
Well, true, but...

I kinda put it in the similar category as robotics news.. There also are small baby steps of developments, but reality is, that we are decades away from any practical and widespread use of robots, so I am not impressed with them (dont even read news about them anymore).
that_guy
3 / 5 (2) Mar 18, 2011
@darwin - Robots are ubiquitous. Autonomous humanoid robots may be rare, but they are making progress. We already have autonomous spyplanes, vacuum cleaners, cars are starting to get there with adaptive cruise control and self parking abilities...

But i do agree that I am also not impressed with this particular developement.

@birthmark - The reason that I'm not impressed is that this is barely a baby step. Using fog as a projection screen is almost certainly a dead end, and on that effect, technologically and theoretically, being able to do this isn't expected to be that difficult or essentially useful beyond very limited scope (They do similar stuff at performances and laser shows already)...that's why it hasn't been done until now, because it's essentially already been done...
ereneon
not rated yet Mar 19, 2011
Don't forget medical robots. The Da Vinci system is already pretty ubiquitous, and countless other surgical and diagnostic robots are beginning to emerge.
antonima
not rated yet Mar 19, 2011
@birthmark - The reason that I'm not impressed is that this is barely a baby step. Using fog as a projection screen is almost certainly a dead end, and on that effect, technologically and theoretically, being able to do this isn't expected to be that difficult or essentially useful beyond very limited scope (They do similar stuff at performances and laser shows already)...that's why it hasn't been done until now, because it's essentially already been done...


I thought so too, but after thinking about it some more it seems that it would be fairly easy to make a permanent dust chamber, for instance something with vibrating parts and very fine dust. The whole thing could be enclosed so that dust does not escape. The dust would become suspended in air and essentially replace the fog. It should work, unless the projector is specifically tuned to work only with suspended water particles.

Also this would be immensely popular at any halloween party. :)
that_guy
not rated yet Mar 19, 2011
@antonima
I'm not saying that it's impossible to make a good working machine with a suspended solution in the air as a screen. I'm saying that it will be bad for a person's health. Asthma, bronchitis, and lung disease from constant exposure to mildew, dust, or some other airborne vector or product.
Jujitsu_master
not rated yet Mar 25, 2011
It seems like they are using projectors to manipulate the 3D holographic image. As birthmark mentioned projection technology is a dead end. Impasse that leads to nowhere. I personally see no technical progress in this.

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