AMOEBA Tank Forms Letters Today, Aliens From 'Abyss' Tomorrow

The AMOEBA (Advanced Multiple Organized Experimental Basin), a circular tank created by Mitsui Engineering at their Akishima laboratory, is able to form letters with standing waves.

(AMOEBA wave pool)

This remarkable display device consists of fifty water wave generators surrounding a cylindrical tank 1.6 meters in diameter and 30 centimeters deep. The wave generators move vertically to produce cylindrical waves. These "pixels" are about ten centimeters in diameter and four centimeters in height; these form lines and shapes. The AMOEBA device can form all of the roman alphabet, as well as some kanji characters.

Each letter takes about fifteen seconds to produce; Akishima Labs expects to sell the device to amusement parks in a package that combines acoustics, lighting and fountain technology.

This device is also a good first step to the watery alien creations in the 1989 movie Abyss, which combined futuristic underwater technology with alien first encounter. The great special effects were groundbreaking; CGI effects like the ability to create irreguar objects and soft-edged objects were perfected. Convincing integration of CGI with the live action sequence was also achieved. If Akishima Labs maintains steady progress, it may be possible to achieve alien effects in fountains or other media.

(Alien creations from Abyss)

If you are interested in unusual displays, be sure to check out the Infernoptix Digital Pyrotechnics Matrix Display, a combination backyard barbeque grill and computer display, and the Brain Port Tongue Vision In Use By Navy SEALs. Story from Fujisankei Business (Japanese) via Edo; thanks to Adi for pointing out the Abyss reference.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 7/26/2006)

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