true 3d

By David Ponce

Any sort of technology that uses precisely aligned, intersecting infrared lasers to create small amounts of plasma tends to worry us a little, seeing as plasma is, well, quite hot. That hasn’t stopped the folks at Japan?s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) from developing a true 3D display using this very technique. The device, on display at SIGGRAPH 2006, is able to produce up to 100 dots per second, which in turn are used to create a true, three dimensional image.

Certainly, at this point the technology is in its infancy, and the images created are primitive. But if anyone remembers monochrome monitors, they’ll understand the potential here. For a video demonstration, come right in.

[Daily Tech Article] VIA [TechEBlog]

[Update: Turns out, Erik So took this video, and we’d like to thank him. So, thank you for the vid, Erik. -Ed.]


  1. A real 3D display, with bonus plasma lasers…

    Scientists from Japan?s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) are developing a true three-dimensional display using lasers, bringing us ever closer to the nerdy dream of……

  2. 3D Display…

    Ever since seeing Starwars I have wanted a 3D display which can project charachters in to thin air. Helio display comes close but you can still see the vapour wobbiling the picture a little. Other screens such as the fog screen also produce lots of amo…

  3. I saw a display similar to this a few years ago at QinetiQ part of the UK MoD. Im quite sure in the intervening years theyve got alot further. The only problme is the huge computing power required to create a true 3d array.

  4. 3D technology labs had this technology working on a small scale 10 years ago. See
    It is very hard to take this to the next step towards usefulness (I wish the Japanese luck). The status of the 3D technology labs is not clear from the website.

  5. To expand on Steve’s comment: 3D Technology Labs did indeed demonstrate a similar technology 10 years ago. It wasn’t based on plasma, though; it was based on nonlinear optical effects in a cube of specially doped glass. When two laser beams of different wavelengths intersected inside the glass, they caused the dopant atoms to emit light. I got to see it in person, and it was pretty freakin’ cool.