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.