According to the World Economic Forum, researchers from the University of Sussex have found a way to create cutting-edge holograms that you can not only see but also hear and even feel — and they pulled it off by drawing on some vintage tech.
The device works by using ultrasound waves to trap and move a two millimeter-wide polystyrene bead around in midair. The bead traces out an object’s shape in three dimensions while LEDs shine red, green, and blue light on it.
Because the bead is moving so fast, the human eye sees only the completed shape — a compelling illusion not entirely unlike the way a rapid series of still frames looks like a moving image.
The use of ultrasound waves allows the device to produce audible noise as well as a physical sensation.
The researchers envision future versions of the device making use of multiple beads to create even more detailed holograms. And perhaps even more exciting than the prototype itself is the fact that, unlike many cutting-edge technologies, this one might not have too much difficulty making the leap to consumer product.