Scientists at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) have created a device to project 3D images in mid-air. Up until this point all “3D” mid-air imagery was an illusion facilitated by the natural parallax between the eyes.
The AIST device actually creates very small plasma emissions by focusing lasers at specific points. The light causes oxygen and nitrogen gasses in the air to expand, creating the plasma.This confrontation of light and chemicals results in the rendering of points of light and noise, which is said to sound like small explosions.
The device can currently project images approximately 6.5′ to 10′ (2 -3 meters) away from the device. Scientists have stated that with improved laser technology they should be able to project more distant images and expect the technology to be used in future advertising projects.
AIST Press Release