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Punched by a Hologram? Interactive Holograms you can feel.

Here’s the future for mar­ket­ing and adver­tis­ers. Imag­ine dis­play­ing holo­graph­ic prod­ucts that you can not only touch but will react with you. Pic­ture a float­ing can of Coca-Cola that you could grab and pre­tend to drink, or a crispy pota­to chip you could place in your mouth. Read on, I’m telling you. Next lev­el media here, Inter­ac­tive holo­grams you can feel!

By now you all should know that holo­grams are a sta­ple of sci­ence fic­tion and go as far back to 1893, thanks to Jules Verne. Even recent­ly they have come into vogue due to devel­op­ments in lasers for enter­tain­ment and award events. Researchers at DNG or the Dig­i­tal Nature Group have found a way to use lasers, mir­rors and cam­eras to cre­ate three-dimen­sion­al, inter­ac­tive holo­grams com­prised of tiny points of light called vox­els. The team using fem­tosec­ond lasers (a fem­tosec­ond is a quadrillionth of a sec­ond, and the lasers trans­mit bursts that last 30 to 270 fem­tosec­onds), can make holo­grams that are safe to touch. The DNG researchers say ear­li­er stud­ies in cre­at­ing air plas­ma had­n’t achieved res­o­lu­tion this high, and would burn human skin.

The images are three-dimen­sion­al, with res­o­lu­tions up to 200,000 dots per sec­ond. The vox­els are light emit­ted by plas­ma that’s cre­at­ed when the laser’s focused ener­gy ion­izes the air. Yoichi Ochi­ai a prin­ci­pal inves­ti­ga­tor in the exper­i­ments said when he touched the holo­gram it felt like sand­pa­per, par­tic­i­pants thought the plas­ma felt a lit­tle like a sta­t­ic shock. Ochi­ai was astound­ed by how safe the plas­ma was to touch, con­sid­er­ing all the ear­li­er attempts being harm­ful to skin.

The key to mak­ing these holo­grams safe is the short­er dura­tion of the laser’s bursts. In tests, if the lasers fired in more than two sec­ond bursts, they burnt the leather researchers used to sim­u­late skin. But, if they trans­mit­ted at 50 mil­lisec­onds to 1 sec­ond bursts instead, the leather was unscathed.

Now what’s excep­tion­al­ly cool about this process is that since the lasers fire at such a high speeds, they’re able to react in real-time. They’ve test­ed its abil­i­ty by mak­ing usable holo­graph­ic check­box­es and hearts that break when touched. Ochi­ai now says that his proof of con­cept must be made big­ger so they can make larg­er holo­grams. The cur­rent laser can trans­mit up to 7W, and this 1 cubic cen­time­ter exper­i­ment only used 1W of the laser’s power.

Holo­graph­ic images you can touch and manip­u­late; is this not thrilling. Soon­er than you know adver­tis­ing is going straight into the future.

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