Doctors are some of the biggest consumers of 3D visualization because every CT and MRI scan is a volumetric data set. So far, viewing the data in 3D has typically required a special set of glasses or meant that the person had to keep the eyes within a small space within which the 3D effect is visible. Now researchers in Japan have come up with a completely new type of 3D display that consists of liquid, but relies on lasers to create an image.
The display is essentially a glass cylinder filled with a high viscosity liquid. Lasers outside the liquid vessel are used to focus light beams where visible content should appear. When properly focused, the lasers generate tiny bubbles within the liquid. Doing this fast enough, an entire image can be created out of the bubbles. Since the liquid is very viscous, the bubbles tend to stay around longer than if it would be water.
To colorize the scene, light beams that can change color are applied to the bubbles, both illuminating and coloring the image. The image can be seen from any angle and the display itself has no wires or power components to have to think about.
The technology is still in a very early stage and requires expensive components. Nevertheless, there’s obviously a great deal of room for improvement on image quality and cost.
Here’s a quick demonstration of the proof-of-principle 3D bubble display:
Open access study in journal Optica: Volumetric bubble display…