Hologram of a Fairy Created with Lasers Can be Felt and Touched (VIDEO)

First Posted: Jul 02, 2015 12:29 PM EDT

Imagine holograms that you can not only see, but also interact with and touch. Now, a lab in Japan has managed to create holograms that can actually create a sense of touch.

In this case, the researchers used femtosecond lasers. With these lasers, the scientists created plasma voxels.

Essentially, the researchers fired the femtosecond laser through what's known as a spatial light modulator and a series of lenses into a Galvano scanner. There, the laser beam was split in two and then directed at an object and the recording medium. When a user touches the plasma voxels, shock waves are generated.

So how is the laser safe to touch? The scientists reduced the duration of laser bursts to higher resolution femtoseconds instead of lower resolution femtoseconds and nanoseconds. This creates the sensation of touch when a person touches the hologram.

In this case, the researchers created several different objects; they generated a fairy, a heart and a star.

This technology has several applications. In theory, it could be used to create scalable augmented reality, aerial user interfaces and volumetric images. That said, the images are currently tiny and are a far way off from being used for these particular applications. However, this is certainly a good start in the right direction.

The findings were published online by the Digital Nature Group.

Want to learn more? Check out the video below, courtesy of YouTube.

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