They've invented a THIN AIR COMPUTER SCREEN???

Found this in PC MAGAZINE this month.
I’m stunned. Did anyone else know about this?
This is lifted from the website:

Heliodisplay projects full color streaming video into thin air using a revolutionary technology that produces a 27-inch image and is Plug-and-Play compatible with most video sources (TV, DVD, Computer, Video Consoles). These non-holographic images are fully interactive allowing **a hand or finger to select, navigate and manipulate them ** them – as if they were on a virtual touch screen.

Of course, ordinary people can’t get it yet because the price is $22,500, but the company mentions future home and business use.
They’ve taken down the video downloads of the images because of the traffic.

When do we get our jetpacks and flying cars?

A better link is

Hmm…as a futuristic techo geek, I am always impressed with new inventions coming down the tube.

That said, the site seemed a little sparse…a lot of the links lead nowhere…even the one for potential investors. Hell, even Bill Gates takes money.

Still…intriguing concept that I don’t doubt could happen…but I would like to see a real demo first.

My “better” link doesn’t seem to work, although when I copied yours and went for it, it got me there.

It was the period at the end of your link DMark


Just looking at those pictures, it looks suspiciously like the image is projected onto a piece of glass.

The site also says the image is “transparent” from behind. Seems to me that it would be more difficult to limit the viewing arc, than to expand it. But what do I know…

Imagine playing Age of Empires or Warcraft on that thing!

Looks like BS to me. Why don’t the “demo” pictures show the unit? Why are they small and blurry? In the images of people grabbing stuff, how come they’re close-ups, and not shown in context?

Highly, highly skeptical I am.

Oh, and more importantly, how on earth is it meant to work?

There’s a demo on December 5th in Lake Forest, IL - any Illinois dopers want to check it out for us? (And also - no offense to any IL residents - but if it’s as revolutionary as it claims to be, why isn’t the launch in somewhere like NY or CA, with TV news crews and all that jazz?)

There appears to be a picture of the unit here.

Lake forest has money.

WAG: because it’s still in development, and not 100% ready. This seems like a small outfit. I visited a research lab last week that does human-computer interaction stuff, and one of the researchers I talked to said one of the problems they had was showing some sort of prototype in a conference and having some company in Taiwan release an identical product a few months later. They probably want to avoid similar situations.

Also, it sounds cool, but it’s not that revolutionary. Here is a “fog screen” that was presented at the SIGGRAPH conference this summer. I have not seen this particular application, but I did see early experiments using fog.

The work I saw used microscopic water droplets, a technology originally used to control humidity in museum displays. The droplets are small enough that you don’t see the fog until something is projected through it.

It sounds like they’re pulling a similar trick. Maybe it’s not fog. However, compare the vent in the Fog Screen link with the picture or the Heliodisplay device. It sure looks like that thing’s blowing something up.

And grabing stuff out of thin air - there’s loads of people doing stuff like that. Yours truly included. No big deal.

There’s a group working on an interactive environment project in my school that uses a 2 meter-tall screen. It’s essentially just a very large semi-opaque glass wall through which an image is projected with a regular projector, but the image is just as nice as a regular screen.

We had a Super Mario Kart tournament in there. Oh. My. God. My head was still spinning three days later!

Hmm, fog sounds a bit more plausible, though it seems odd that the image is shown appearing above the unit rather than a way away from it. I wonder what this means:

Also, there appears to be some inconsistency between this statement:

image is invisible (transparent) from behind.

and these images.

That’s just another way of saying: we’re blowing stuff in the air.

From jovan’s link:

I don’t think I like the sound of that. :dubious:

I actually saw this on TV about a week ago. It was one of those things you only see on television shows and say to yourself, wouldn’t that be cool?
The resolution of the image was poor, but that could be because it was recorded. The guy was unable to manipulate the images, just move them around the “screen”. It didn’t look overly good, but it is just a prototype. In a few years I expect them to evolve quite a bit.