Thanks to a new laser technology, a Japanese company has succeeded in projecting seemingly floating objects into the air. Whereas with conventional laser projectors it was previously only possible to align the light beams to a specific visible target, the new type of display is both revolutionary and spectacular in comparison. Different uses are conceivable.
The Japanese company Burton is behind this new technology . The manufacturer worked with the Science Museum in Tokyo to stage the show. Burton lead researcher Akira Asano explains the technique of levitating objects by comparing it to how it works to focus light rays like a magnifying glass: “The biggest feature of our technology is that we focus light on a point in the air , wherever we want,” says Akira Asano.
With a lens, for example a magnifying glass, the principle of bundling sunlight leads to a highly compressed and high-energy beam of light. Depending on the projection target, the molecules of the target object are burned by the radiation that occurs. The engineers at Burton have created similar technical conditions here. Here, too, the light beams are bundled and compressed by lenses, resulting in an extremely powerful laser. This beam is aimed at a specific point in the air, so a fixed projection surface is no longer necessary. Following this alignment, the laser is fired hundreds of times per second, causing small explosions of air molecules and creating the luminous and reflective aerial image. A second beam – a directional beam so to speak – draws the desired movements in the air. This enables the vision of three-dimensional light objects in the air.
Versatile areas of application are possible
The technology, which explodes air molecules and makes them glow, is to be used, for example, in transport and for public information purposes. Corresponding information could appear in the air regardless of location and time of day and warn of upcoming traffic jams. The same applies to disaster warnings, such as tsunamis. Of course, the technology could also be used for commercial purposes. Advertisements could appear in the air and no longer over billboards or LCD panels. The system can be used on the go, for example from the car. This could be used to implement advertising campaigns of all kinds as a hologram.
The system is already ready for the market. A projection height of up to five meters is currently being achieved. Burton is optimistic that development will make doubling to 10 yards possible. Discussions with other companies and urban communities are expected to begin next year.