Heliodisplay - Futuristic Display Technology

Update Aug-18-2005: According to the company's press release, the Heliodisplay is now available for purchase. Heliodisplays are available in projecting image sizes from 22 to 42 inches (diagonal), and is available with interactive features. IO2 Technology's website (http://www.io2technology.com), which has Heliodisplay(TM) units available for direct purchase, demonstrates how a user can move the image of a watch in mid-air with their finger.

I saw this device demonstrated at Wired NextFest, a technology exposition in Chicago earlier this summer, and it really works - it's an impressive device.

In his Dune novels, Frank Herbert makes use of something he calls a "solido projector" - a device that forms an image directly on a conference table. Films like Star Wars show how images projected into the air might be used. The Heliodisplay from IO2Technology projects images - both still pictures and video - into mid-air. It works with most video sources. It is also interactive, forming a floating touch screen that can be manipulated with your hands.


(From Heliodisplay)

As shown in the diagram below, air flows into the device, is modified and then ejected and illuminated to produce the image. Nothing is added to the air; nothing affects air quality. Images can be seen up to 75 degrees off aspect, similar to an LCD screen; no special glasses or projection screens are required.


(From Heliodisplay diagram)

The image is two-dimensional, not volumetric.

The science fiction film Star Wars has several famous examples of how a projection device like this might be used. For example, in the scene below, R2D2 and Chewbacca are playing a board game with projected pieces.


(Let the Wookie win)

And of course we all remember this scene.


(Help me, Obiwan Kenobi - you're my only hope)

Proposed applications for the real-world Heliodisplay include:

  • Advertising and Promotion, e.g.: trade shows; in-store displays; museum, movie and casino displays; theme parks.
  • Collaborative Decision Making, e.g.: board meetings and presentations; air-traffic control; military command and control; architectural and engineering design; teleconferencing.
  • Simulation & Training, e.g.: virtual targets; pre-operative planning; virtual surgery.
  • Consumer, e.g.: video games; home theatre.
  • Heads-up displays in new fields, e.g.: a patient's vital signs could hover above the chest during open heart surgery.
  • Build one into a door jamb and have a walk through image or virtual privacy screen.
  • An in-store end cap advertising display and demonstration through which the customer can reach and grab shown product.
  • Build the Heliodisplay into furniture, e.g. project from desk.
Be sure to take a look at a device that uses a different technology to make a similar kind of presentation - the Toshiba 3D Flatbed Display. The science fiction examples mentioned above cover several of these proposed uses of the Heliodisplay; are there any other uses already imagined in sf?

(The original article was published 12/30/2004.)

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/18/2005)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 23 )

Related News Stories - (" Display ")

Neptune Duo Smartwatch Wearable Wristband
'[He] pressed several buttons on the wide bracelet he wore upon his left wrist...'- Roger Zelazny, 1980.

Smart Window Tints, Powers Itself
'The polawindow, which he tuned to clear transmission.'- Frank Herbert, 1972.

What Can Magic Leap Expect From New 'Chief Futurist' Neal Stephenson?
'The goggles throw a light, smoky haze across his eyes...'- Neal Stephenson, 1992.

Puls 'Smart Watch' Replaces Your Cell Phone
I think this is a really interesting device, and I haven't heard very much about it.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

XM82 Personal Flamethrower Now In Development
'Skeletons in tatters. Burned by a flesh gun'

Graphene Cytobot - Cyborg Bacterial Spores May Help Astronauts
'[It] had not yet objected to being made over into a portion of an electronic system... '

Delightful Plen2 Mirror Robot - The Anti-Terminator
Time for fun, Will Robinson!

LiquiGlide Will Be Everywhere
'They poured the remnants of eggs out of their frictionless cups...'

US Customs Now Doing Facial Recognition At DC Airport
Are you who you say you are?

How Many Systems In That Galactic Empire Now?
'An Empire to twenty million stellar systems...'

Petman Robot Pushes Itself To The Limit
'There was the butler robot, hard at work, his copper face expressionless...'

Coleus LED 'Skylight' Dispenses Natural Sunlight Indoors
'How do they work it so that the sky is visible at every level of the city?'

UR3 Robot At Work On Copies Of Itself
'I don't mean that you should construct this ultra-microrobot with your own fingers, of course...'

3D Printing 'Terminator T-1000-Style'
Not quite 'a mimetic polyalloy...'

Bridge-MINDER Repair Robot
'The repair robots had started out on their rounds...'

Super Ball Bot Tensegrity Robot For Solar System Exploration
'Each leg in turn acted as a pivot around which the creature whirled its body...'

Norlin Shoe Drone Robot UAV In-Store Delivery Thing
'Robot-salesmen were everywhere, gesturing, pleading, shrilling.'

iSkin On-Body Touch Sensors
'Three rows of four colored dots appeared on the heel of my left hand.'

Britain To Build Spaceport, First In Europe
'The space-ports at the three great cities...'

MC10 Electronics Skin Stickers
'Every diaper... a fine copper wire…'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.