Three-dimensional holograms have long been a favorite of science fiction movies. But because of the use of high-powered lasers to project the hologram, contact with the images was not possible.
Thanks to a major breakthrough by researchers in Japan, three-dimensional interactive holograms are now a reality. Researchers from the University of Tokyo have created 3D interactive holograms using powerful lasers that fire at a quadrillionth a second and are safe to touch and respond to human touch without burning skin.
The key to making these holograms safe is the ultra-short duration of the laser’s bursts that last between 30 and 270 femtoseconds (a femtosecond is a quadrillionth of a second) at a time.
Demonstrating the technology, researchers showed off holograms of a heart, a star, and a small fairy. They also demonstrated a checkbox that can be ticked by tapping it. The team will present its invention at the Siggraph 2015 conference in Los Angeles in August of this year.