Marc Ressl, a professor at the Buenos Aires institute of technology, has shown off a new sort of 3D projection that he's created, using what he calls a "volumetric projector", Wired reports (opens in new tab).
By utilising many projectors - in this prototype example he uses 10 - a 3D object can be created within a bank of smoke, though he claims that for a truly accurate 3D to float freely, there would need to be somewhere in the number of 100 projectors. He explains in the video that due to the lower number of projectors used, that the sphere generated was unfortunately a low contrast and resolution, but that it provided a good proof of concept.
He also noted other aspects of the experiment that could be improved, "The distribution of the projectors, the type of projectors, and the medium on which it's displayed."
The video above shows the experiment in greater detail, with Ressl giving views of the exterior of the sphere as well as the interior.
Having received many comments from people around the world, Ressl has released a further few comments to cover some of the most common questions:
We know the number of projectors is very low, and this only serves as proof-of-concept. But we have done simulations, and we know that with 100+ projectors the individual light rays become invisible, so you only see the projected object. The contrast also improves radically.
We know the fog machine we used is not well-suited. There are many ways to improve on this, but most importantly is the number of projectors, as it helps to increase contrast, and the amount of fog needed decreases radically.
3D and holographic technology are certainly garnering a lot of interest at the moment, with several different potential avenues for exploration. Hatsune Miko is a digital star in Japan that even performs live gigs with quite a convincing stage prescence. However, she is merely achieved (opens in new tab) through rear projection onto a semi-transparent screen.
She has however been shown off in miniature form using a technology similar to Ressl's, where tabletop, mini-projectors are used to create a 5cm version of the singer.