Optical Trap Display: Researchers create a laser hologram with which they can interact

New hologram technology comes to the world, Optical Trap Display. Since Princess Leia was seen requesting help from Obi-Wan Kenobi in the original Star Wars movie, back in 1977. That is the creation of real holograms has been one of the great dreams of science. A picture created from light, but that could be visualized in three dimensions from any angle.

Optical Trap Display: Researchers create a laser hologram with which they can interact

40 years later, discoveries put us on the verge of achieving it. Scientists from Brigham Young University (BYU) creates that technology by using laser technology, volumetric images in 3D. That would be the technical definition of what we know, commonly, as a hologram.

Through Engadget, we have been able to know the details of this investigation. Using a technology called Optical Trap Display (something like an isolated optical panel), BYU scientists laser separate a small particle and force it to move in a pattern by using a laser. It is similar to the movement of electrons in tube TVs. New lasers come together, giving lighting and color. When the particle moves, it gives the sensation of a holographic image with solid texture. In this video you can see an example of the operation:

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Closer and closer to the total hologram

In a way, researchers define this technology as a “3D print in the air,” and it would not be a wrong explanation. For now, there have been experiments with the figure of a butterfly, a prism, rings in motion and, of course, a character inspired by Princess Leia. There is still a bit to get these figures have a natural movement and reach to interact with the user, which is the ultimate goal.

This first step is undoubtedly talented but requires more research and development. The applications of a 3D hologram would be multiple, from the replacement of current projectors, recreational use for games such as communication. Can you imagine talking on Skype with someone, but “being able to touch”?

It is easy to get excited about these advances, but for now, the important thing is that they are already underway. We will carefully monitor the inquiries of the researchers at BYU, hoping to learn about future developments in this regard.

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