Future Landscapes: 3D Laser Projections

What would have seemed like science fiction just a few years ago is now reality. Researchers at Burton Inc. in Japan have figured out how to create a 3D projection of text and images into the air. The projections are untethered, and also visible no matter how bright it is outside.

Burton Inc. says they were motivated to create this technology to enable floating signs that could be seen by all in an emergency.

Perhaps we can imagine this technology becoming a feature in parks and public spaces of the near future, even incorporated into next generation public art works.

Aerial Burton says, currently, most 3D displays “draw pseudo-3D images on 2D planes by using human binocular disparity.” However, this is less than ideal given “the limitation of the visual field, and the physiological displeasure due to the mis-identification of virtual images.”

According to Gizmodo, their technology uses a 1kHz infrared pulse, which is invisible to the eye. That pulse is fired into a mirror that “reflects and focuses the pulse onto specific points in the air. The area where the laser is focused becomes ionized, which then causes visible photons to be released, creating the bright white dots.”

Also worth checking out is a set of amazing photographs by Stephen Orlando, who tracks human movement with LED light sticks. The progression of the light sticks is isolated, capturing in a unique way how people move, here, through the water.

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