Unlike 3-D images of old, these high-res pictures are visible from almost any direction
D.E. Smalley et al/Nature 2018
The 3-D displays seen in such sci-fi movies as Star Wars may not be so far, far away.
A new laser system renders full-color 3-D images in thin air, researchers report in the Jan. 25 Nature. This technology could someday make futuristic, free-floating visuals for everything from air traffic control to surgical planning.
With this new technology, “you really can, in principle, achieve what everyone hopes to achieve, which is the image of Princess Leia in that scene in Star Wars,” says Curtis Broadbent, a physicist at the University of Rochester in New York who was not involved in the work.
Whereas holograms are images on flat surfaces that only appear three-dimensional because of how the light bounces off the material, the newly created images