New 3D imaging solution projects into the air

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Star Trek's holodeck seems one step closer to reality with an announcement Monday from London, England-based 3Dsolar Ltd. The company said it will show off a new 3D imaging solution compatible with both Macs and PCs at separate events this month in France and Santa Clara, Calif. The 3Dsolar device is described as "holographic-like," projecting a 3D image into the air without requiring the use of any glasses.

The images themselves are created using a 2D view, and users interact with the virtual images directly with their hands, just as they would with a real-world object. Users click icons for manipulation. The company claims that a prototype of its invention has already been shown to industry experts and engineers.

In small-scale production, the device costs about US$5,000, but 3Dsolar expects that if large-scale production commences the price of such devices could drop to $1,500 -- still out of the reach of most consumers, but a plausible purchase for sales displays -- a market specifically noted by the technology's inventor, Patrick Levy Rosenthal. "Imagine a 3Dsolar screen displaying selected store products 8 inches away from the actual retail store window and offering the passerby the possibility to interact with the virtual objects," said Levy Rosenthal in a recent statement.

3Dsolar Ltd. will show off the device at this week's Innovact conference in Reims, France and on October 25 at Nvidia Corp. in Santa Clara, Calif.

This story, "New 3D imaging solution projects into the air" was originally published by PCWorld.

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