Unlike the experimental 3D printer discovered a few years ago, a new technology can project animated objects in three dimensions by means of ultrasound waves, as if it were a kind of hologram.
Created by researchers at the University of Southampton in England, the device consists of a box with small, two-plate ultrasound speakers. LED lights on a 2 mm diameter ball do the work of creating the image. Watch video here.
The small sphere travels at a speed equivalent to 32.2 km/h to generate images in less than a tenth of a second. With this speed, the human eye can only see the object formed by the colors of the LEDs, not the movement of the ball.
Other capabilities of this technology include the ability to detect touches and emit sound during image playback. For the researcher, Sriram Subramanian, this is a new way of visual entertainment.
“Let’s say you want to create a Harry Potter experience. You could put your hand out to cast a spell and as you move your hand you could see and feel a glowing ball growing in your palm, and we could have sound coming from it too,” he said.
Projections can be generated within a 10 cm wide air cube. Scientists want to improve technology to use more materials in 3D printing. A team member, Ryuji Hirayama “believe that in the future, such displays will allow us to interact with our family and friends as if they are close by, so you can see, touch and hear them.”