October 10, 2014 report
Leia Display System uses mist for large interactive screen display
An organization in Poland has announced that it has a new kind of screen display for sale, all part of what it calls the Leia Display System. In practice, it's like an empty picture frame that has mist pushed from above or below (to where the picture should be) and upon which video imagery is projected. The systems also have sensors that allow the images that are displayed to be manipulated like a touch screen. The result is an interactive 2D hologram that in some respects, allows for displaying video in ways not seen before—mostly because hands and other body parts can pass right through it.
Though the company isn't saying so, it's likely the name for the system comes from the movie Star Wars, where a Princess Leia hologram is projected to offer a message. Thus far the company is offering two display sizes, the S-95, which the company describes as TV sized, (approximately 37x25 inches) uses mist pushed from below—company reps suggest it might be useful as a virtual assistant, for modeling or for playing games. The other display, the X-300, is much bigger—it's hanged from above and pushes mist from the top down and has a display size of approximately 10x8 feet—big enough to walk through, the company notes on its site. It's also big enough to drive a car through, which when combined with special effects, creates quite an impression. One interesting aspect of the displays is that both have water consumption statistics because they need to create the mist, which is of course lost to the air as it's made. The smaller version uses approximately .10 gallons per hour, while the larger model uses up to a gallon per hour.
Thus far it appears the displays are meant mainly as a marketing tool, allowing for the presentation of interactive displays for an audience. But it's also clear the displays could be used in many other applications, from teaching, to video touring, to gaming. Not mentioned is whether heavy (or light?) use results in moist or wet hands, garments, etc.
Both models are currently ready for sale or rent—the company has distributors in South Korea, Saudi Arabia/Dubai, and Benulux/France—though prices for the displays have not be announced—the web site simply asks those interested to call them.
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