Researchers Make Touchable Holograms

SUSPENDED IN SPACE—A team of Japanese researchers have come up with touchable holograms using femtosecond lasers, which emit light pulses measuring less than one picosecond. In other words, very fast. This allows contact that doesn’t flash fry human flesh,iProgrammer notes.

“We present a method to render an aerial and volumentric graphics in air, by femtosecond lasers,” the team’s YouTube narrator says. “Laser-induced plasma emits light without involving any physical matter. Daily life applications can be explored, because plasma-induced light with a femtosecond laser is quieter and safer than that of a nanosecond laser.”

The team includes lead researcher Dr. Yoichi Ochiai of Tsukuba University, as well as Kota Kumagai, Satoshi Hasegawa, and Yoshio Hayasaki from Utsunomiya University, Takayuki Hoshi from the Nagoya Institute of Technology, and Jun Rekimoto from The University of Tokyo, according to Reuters. They submitted their paper, “Fairy Lights in Femtoseconds: Aerial and Volumetric Graphics Rendered by Focused Femtosecond Laser Combined with Computational Holographic Fields,” to Cornell University in June.