3D Laser Display



A 3D aerial laser display developed by a team of Japanese researchers that can display text and images in mid air.

A 1kHz infrared pulse fires directly into a 3D scanner which focuses and reflects the laser to specific points in 3D space, ionising air molecules which release energy in the form of photons.

Much as you’d expect.


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13 thoughts on “3D Laser Display

    1. andyourpointiswhatexactly

      Knock, knock open wide, see what’s on the other siiiiiiiiiiiaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrgh my HAND! IT BURNS!!! FUPP YOU, BOSCO!

      1. Mark Dennehy

        At 0:52, pause the video and read the screen on the right. Note the word “plasma”.

        Techncially, plasma is just *really* ionised air (or whatever gas you heat up). But when you say “ionised”, you normally think of air ionisers, which just impart a small charge to air – this thing dumps so much energy into the air that the molecules and atoms break down to constituent electrons and nuclei and then when the laser turns off and they cool down, they recombine and release the extra energy as light.

        You’ve seen this before, you’ve just called it lightning :)

        Seriously cool stuff – I just wouldn’t wave my hand through it :)

      2. Chamos

        I’m not sure what you’re pointing at that makes you think it’s safe to touch. To turn air into plasma takes a laser intensity of the order of 10^11 W/cm². Putting your hand at the focus point of a laser strong enough to ignite air isn’t advised.

        To give you an idea of the power involved, a similar system is being experimented with as a propulsion system for launching spacecraft:

  1. Starina

    wow. In the words of Nick Cave, “we find ourselves at our most distracted/And the miracle that was promised creeps quietly by”

    1. Mark Dennehy

      It’s really really awesome.
      Kinda wish we could use it for desktop displays, but I don’t think we could (apart from the burning plasma thing, there’s all the ozone they’ve got to be generating, it wouldn’t be terribly healthy to be breathing that in).
      But if they ramp up the power, that’s *real* skywriting right there. And fantastic fireworks.

      And feck, we’re going to need new laws about advertising before then or we’re going to wind up with every single grafton street shop doing that 3D shark advert thing from Back to the Future…

  2. Kieran NYC

    “Useful in emergencies”

    Boll1x. They’re trying to make lightsabers and they know it.

    (So very cool though)

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