Star Wars style lightsabers may soon be a reality as scientists have developed 3D holograms that can actually be touched.
The new laser technology uses lasers that pulse at one quadrillionth of a second and turn air into plasma (ionized air). Scientists who have been leading the research in Japan say that the 3D holograms “feel like sandpaper” to the touch.
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According to research this technology may eventually allow us to interact with computers that float in midair, and have holograms that wrap around body parts of real-world objects.
There have been previous attempts to turn lasers into holograms, and while there has been some successes, this femtosecond laser has one key advantage: it wouldn’t sear your skin if you touch it. The Fairy Lights team pulses its laser at a faster rate—meaning less laser radiation exposure for your skin—that creates a perfectly safe hologram. The problem now is that the holograms that the team has has managed to create are tiny—not much larger than the size of a pinhead.
Spectrum IEEE reports that it’s theoretically possible for these displays to scale up, meaning our future displays may soon look like those a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
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