Futuristic tech is on a roll this week. First we caught word that NASA is experimenting with suspended animation to send astronauts to Mars, and now we’ve got reason to believe that Star Wars-style hologram tech might soon be in our living rooms. Science fiction is becoming science fact at an alarming rate these days
The Leia Display System (no doubt named after the infamous spacefaring princess portrayed by Carrie Fischer in the original Star Wars trilogy) is capable of projecting images into midair, and also allows the user to interact with these images via gesture controls.
To make this possible, the device first emits a thin wall of water vapor into the air. Without light, this wall is nearly invisible, but when hit with the beam of a projector, it serves as a semi-transparent canvas for the projected imagery. Then, with the help of a few motion tracking sensors and some special software, the system is able to recognize when an image is touched by a user, which allows the display to be grabbed, pinched, swiped, rotated, flicked, and manipulated with all sorts of Minority Report-style gestures. Check out the video to see it in action.
Truth be told, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen this technology. Back in early 2013 a Russian company by the name of Displair brought a strikingly similar device to CES, and we played Fruit Ninja on it. Projecting interactive images onto water vapor isn’t exactly a new idea, but even so, it’s exciting to see the idea gaining ground.
Unlike Displair, Leia comes in two different sizes: 95cm x 65cm (roughly 37 inches by 25 inches) and 3m x 2.5m (around 10 foot by 8 foot). While it’s not quite on the market just yet, it appears that the smaller version will be targeted toward individual consumers, whereas the larger one will be aimed more toward businesses and other organizations.
We’ll keep you posted on availability, but in the meantime, if you’re interested in learning more, check out this video featuring creator Daniel Skutela.