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Michal Postranecky - Co-Founder of Synopcity.com
[Nature.com, Elizabeth Gibney, 24.1.2018] Laser and particle system produces three-dimensional moving images that appear to float in thin air.
Daniel Smalley has long dreamed of building the kind of 3D holograms that pepper science-fiction films. But watching inventor Tony Stark thrust his hands through ghostly 3D body armour in the 2008 film Iron Man, Smalley realized that he could never achieve that using holography, the current standard for high-tech 3D display, because Stark’s hand would block the hologram’s light source. “That irritated me,” says Smalley, a physicist at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He immediately tried to work out how to get around that.
Smalley's team has taken a different approach — using a technique known as volumetric display — to create moving 3D images that viewers can see from any angle. Some physicists say that the technology comes closer than any other to recreating the 3D projection of Princess Leia calling for help in the 1977 film Star Wars. “This is doing something that a hologram can never do — giving you an all-round view, a Princess Leia-style display — because it’s not a hologram,” says Miles Padgett, an optical physicist at the University of Glasgow, UK.
The technique, described in Nature on 24 January1, works more like a high-speed Etch a Sketch: it uses forces conveyed by a set of near-invisible laser beams to trap a single particle — of a plant fibre called cellulose — and heat it unevenly. That allows researchers to push and pull the cellulose around. A second set of lasers projects visible light — red, green and blue — onto the particle, illuminating it as it moves through space. Humans cannot discern images at rates faster than around 10 per second, so if the particle is moved fast enough, its trajectory appears as a solid line — like a sparkler moving in the dark. And if the image changes quickly enough, it seems to move. The display can be overlaid on real objects and viewers can walk around it in real space.
The images created so far are tiny — just millimetres across. And only simple line drawings can be created at the speeds needed to fashion moving images. The team managed to depict a moving spiral line drawing and the static outline of a butterfly.
The technique needs substantial development but is a simple design with huge potential for improvement, says William Wilson, a researcher in nanotechnology at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
“It’s a technological triumph,” says Padgett. “I wish it was mine.”
The approach has many advantages over existing 3D-display techniques. Hologram technology creates 3D images by sending light through a 2D screen that contains a diffraction grating. The grating manipulates the light rays’ paths such that they interfere to create the perception that an image has depth. State-of-the art holograms can be full colour and life-sized but, because the light must always emerge from a 2D surface, the viewing angle is limited. And because changing a diffraction grating at speed is challenging, holograms are also generally static.
Volumetric displays — as their name suggests — physically recreate an image in 3D space. Most existing systems project images onto a rapidly spinning 2D screen. More sophisticated displays — including some made byresearchers at the Keio University in Tokyo that inspired Smalley — use balls of super-heated plasma in 3D space. But these can currently use only a single colour. Other approaches use augmented-reality hardware, such as Microsoft’s HoloLens, that can create the illusion of a real-world 3D image. But these need specialized headgear and are data intensive, says Smalley.
The latest system can already create images in higher resolution than a conventional computer screen — up to 1,600 dots per inch. But to create realistic pictures, with complex moving images and larger visualizations, physicists will need to find ways to speed up the movement of the particles and to control several of them at once.
Smalley says he has ideas about how to address both these issues. “If we make as much progress in the next four years as we made in the last, I think we will be successful making a display of useful size,” he says.
One drawback of the technique is that it will be difficult to get rid of the ghostly, see-through quality of the projections, says Nasser Peyghambarian, an optical physicist at the University of Arizona in Tucson. That’s because the eye will receive light from a particle at the ‘back’ of an image as much as from the ‘front’.
A final problem is that because the forces used to control the particles are so tiny, the system is easily destabilized. That could hamper military applications, such as simulating a 3D battle scene to train soldiers, because any strong winds would knock the particles off their trajectories. To get around that, Smalley says, the system could be made to scatter light off mists of particles that appear only temporarily. “You’re never going to do it in a hurricane,” he says. “But it’s not beyond the realm of imagination that it could happen outside.”
Through a network of connected devices and vehicles in the district, researchers hope to make cycling a safer activity.
It’s the first real-world testing Charles River Analytics has done with the system, which it calls Multimodal Alerting Interface with Networked Short-range Transmissions (MAIN-ST)
The European Union’s top court has ruled that Uber should be regulated like a transportation service. That means the ride-sharing service must comply with tough rules that govern traditional taxi associations.
JD.com and real estate developer China Overseas Land & Investment Ltd (COLI) plan to open hundreds of unmanned convenience stores, Quartz reports.
Utilizing ceiling cameras that use facial recognition technology to identify customers, as well as image recognition and heat mapping to track their movements and item selections!
[HN- Adéla Očenášková] V rámci letních olympijských her v roce 2020 se Japonsko chystá představit nový vysokorychlostní vlak typu maglev. Stroj "letící" nad kolejemi bude pro některé japonské cestující do budoucna dokonce výhodnější než letadlo.
[technative.io]Around the world, companies focused on artificial intelligence are generating buzz.
Although established companies are investing heavily into AI, many fairly new organisations are securing funding and focusing on products that could be truly revolutionary. Here are some companies to keep an eye on.
[Goh Sui Noi China Bureau Chief In Beijing] Smart technology cannot replace wise planning in building a city, Singapore's former master planner, Mr Liu Thai Ker has said.
Many young planners put blind faith in technology, thinking that knowledge of technology is enough to plan a city well, and this is the reason why urban environments do not do well, he said yesterday at a forum in Beijing.
[April 20, 2018 by Christine Steinmetz, The Conversation] Smart cities, digital cities, virtual cities, connected cities. Are these just trendy buzzwords? Perhaps. But these types of cities are supported by infrastructure that is more than bricks and mortar.