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Saturday, June 25, 2016

Japanese Scientist Creates Hologram You Can Touch

Despite us all knowing about the holograms in Star Wars (Help me Obi-wan Kenobi, you're my only hope) or the Star Trek holograms of The Doctor from Voyager or the holodeck creations like Professor Moriarty from The Next Generation et al, there's no such thing as a hologram that can speak, let alone a hologram you can touch… until now.

A team of Japanese scientists say they have created a three-dimensional hologram that is safe to touch...

Doctor Ochiai Yoichi (surname first) of the Tsukuba University works within the digital medium... a guy who once was the frontman of a one-man band that featured himself, an electric guitar and a computer.

Ochiai and his team (Kumagai Kota, Hasegawa Satoshi and Hayasaki Yoshio from Utsunomiya University; Hoshi Takayuki from the Nagoya Institute of Technology, and; Rekimoto Jun from The University of Tokyo) use femosecond laser technology that uses laser speeds that whiz by at one millionth of one billionth of a second.

The technology is called "Fairy  Lights" and was created at Tochigi-ken's Utsumoniya University Center for Optical Research and Education.

Check out the hologram below:

In his research paper called “Fairy Lights in Femtoseconds: Aerial and Volumetric Graphics Rendered by Focused Femtosecond Laser Combined with Computational Holographic Fields”, Ochiai says they used high-speed, high-intensity lasers, cameras and mirrors to direct tiny points of light called voxels to create images with resolutions of up to 200,000 dots per second.

But don't lasers burn? Every James Bond movie and Hank Scorpio television show I ever saw says that a laser burns hot!

Actually... a slower laser can burn skin... but these hyper fast bursts of laser light generated by the team didn't burn the leather used in their experiments.

So... what does the laser hologram feel like?

Sandpaper... Hunh... no fooling.

“It is possible to make anything float, as long as the object is no more than eight millimeters wide,” Ochiai says, noting that it can be controlled from about one meter away.

Cool... now all we have to do is find a legitimate use for it...

By the way... if you were to create a tractor beam (I just watched Independence Day for the 8th time), what do you suppose the beam would be made of to be able to attract metal? Magnets?  I guess once they solve that question, we'll have tractor beams to go along with our touchable 3D laser holograms.

Andrew Joseph
PS: I'm out at a baseball tournament for a couple of days...

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