IO2 Technology announced the availability of its third-generation "mid-air display," capable of higher brightness rates and resolution, as well as advancements in holographic image clarity and stability.
Now, don't expect a cheap holographic display from IO2. The new Heliodisplay costs about $18,400, but for this amount of money you get an impressive 3-dimensional display that appears to hover in mid-air. The improved version features native 1024x768 resolution and operates in a significantly quieter mode according to the manufacturing company. Previous
versions of the Heliodisplay were limited to SVGA resolution of 800x600. For an additional $1,000, the Heliodisplay M3 can be pimped-up with a touch-sensitive module for the main projector. This way, the touch-sensitive display can act as a computer input device, providing cursor control when connected to a desktop PC.
Designer Chad Dyner revealed that the holographic device works on the principal of projecting an image onto a cloud of microscopic particles, presumably water-based vapor, which is created using proprietary thermodynamic process. Furthermore, the Heliodisplay operates "by ejecting atomized condensate present in the surrounding air, in a controlled fashion, into an invisible particle cloud." The cloud is produced using a heat pump, which creates a thermal differential to extract condensation from the ambient air. The resulting condensation is pumped into an expansion chamber where it is atomized, then forced through an ejection nozzle to create a particle cloud screen. An integrated optical system detects and tracks movement in and around the mid-air mist. The tracking information is used to accurately control functions in the touch-sensitive medium.
The latest technology included in the new M3 model is expected to make the display more popular than the previous versions, although it will still target professional application, such as teleconferencing and high-end displays in board rooms, product showrooms, museums and hotel or corporate lobbies.