A 3D, 360 Degree Display In A Store Near You? Chances Look Foggy
Sciency types at Japan's Osaka University have created a prototype 360 degree 3D display that uses projectors and a cylinder of fog to engineer images which appear to reside in the 3rd dimension no matter how you look at them.
Fair warning here; don't expect to see a holodeck kit for sale anytime soon or a "Fog 3D" experience that you can snap up from your local electronics store. This technology is still very much in its infancy and while it's no surprise that the Japanese would be on the forefront of such madness, they're along way off from being able to create cityscapes and interactive worlds for us to play in.
Still, this is certainly a hop in the right direction.
Using a cylinder of fog and three projectors, the Osaka team has been able to create a three dimensional image of a bunny, one that is 3D no matter which angle it is viewed from. It is a small bunny, to be sure, and not exactly one that falls into the range of "normal" colors for such a rodent, as you can see in the video below.
Odd coloring and haziness aside, this is certainly an achievement; current 3D displays - even those which do not require glasses - still base their imaging off of 2D screens and this is one of the first technologies to use multiple projectors streaming images onto an actual 3D physical medium.
Eventually, the idea is to make this technology available for medical and entertainment activities, but right now it is firmly in the growing pains stage. Three projectors and a fairly robust amount of fog were required simply to create a hazy image of a rabbit and anything more substantial would require a great deal more fog and a hell of a lot more cameras - not to mention it would be wet. Did you see the condensation dripping from above that rabbit? A holodeck based off of this idea would mean cleaning for mold and mildew every time you were done using it.
We have to admit though, this is an interesting approach to the 3D concept, and movies and TV would take on a whole new experiential aspect using this technology. Can you imagine horror movies using this kind of advancement? Hare-raising!