Holograms have been a popular culture phenomenon since they started appearing in Science Fiction films. However, not even Star Wars could have predicted this – Japanese scientists have found a way to make holograms touchable.
Before you get too excited, let me clarify. Japanese scientists have found a way to make holograms able to be sensed by a human hand. We will not find ourselves playing a successful game of touch football with hologram players anytime soon, but this is still a major find. These scientists have been the only ones able to successfully use lasers to simulate a feeling – other failed experiments ended up burning skin.
One scientist working on this new technology, Dr. Yoichi Ochiai from Tsukuba University,
calls the new discovery a ‘Fairy Lights’ system, which creates fast-traveling laser pulses that react to human touch. Three-dimensional images are projected, and the lasers are used in such a way that those touching it have the sensation that something is there. So, humans are able to have a three-dimensional holographic image in front of them, reach out, and feel it. The hologram’s pixels will move in response to where they are touched.
So, touchable holograms have been discovered. This is truly a scientific revelation, but does it have any practical uses?
As a matter of fact, touchable holograms, depending on how they progress, can have large implications for the medical sphere, as well as for the construction and technology industries.
People have many ideas of how such technology, when developed, can be used. I can only imagine how holograms will be used in the future in the medical field, such as by revolutionizing certain physical therapy programs, or by comforting patients. The possibilities are truly endless. I have listed some of the more popular usages of our future touchable hologram technology below.
Haven’t we all always wanted a virtual computer keyboard that we can project onto any surface? Well, with this technology, we would have that resource. It would give us a computer keyboard to type on, no matter where we are.
Have you ever been video chatting with someone and wanted to reach out and touch them? With this technology, that may just be in your future. The person you are chatting with could be made into a hologram that responds to your touch. If anything, this technology will entirely change long-distance relationships.
Projecting images to simulate where things should be when building. That could bring ‘blueprints’ to a new level.
Virtual reality games can now be filled with holograms that you can move. That in and of itself is pretty cool.
For more information on ‘Fairy Lights,’ check out this article from Tech Times.