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Intro: yesterday my post about Displair came out first on TechCrunch Europe, then got reposted on TechCrunch.com (thanks Mike!) and then it went viral. So yesterday was a happy day for me, and a busy day for Displair guys who were frantically preparing executive summary in English while dealing with high end enquiries from all over the world. Here is a summary for GoalEurope readers who might not have seen my original post.
When I saw the Displair video where a person played around with the images suspended in the air, I could not believe my eyes. The future has arrived I thought and wrote this. Others (Mashable, TheNextWeb, Gizmodo, Engadget and others) agreed.
Remember Minority Report scenes, where Tom Cruise was flipping through images suspended in the air? Displair technology allows images to be manipulated with gestures in real life.
A young team of Astrakhan entrepreneurs have put together this device in a dormitory. The device consists of the cold fog projector, a camera and a computer. Air screen is created by splitting water into small particles with ultrasound, and jettisoning it in the direct air streams. This way the screen remains stable and can be used to project images onto.
Infrared filter keeps only short rays of light, so it will only work as far as the air screen. It detects touch points (up to 1200), and send info onto the computer. The computer then interpret the gestures with 0.2 seconds delay. Microsoft Kinect manages 0.1 seconds between oversize body movement and a gaming console reaction to it.
The development efforts were funded by the government grants, after Russia’s president Dmitry Medvedev has seen the demo last year at an innovation fair in Seliger, Tver region. The largest grant however was $30 000.
The company can produce 40 to 140-inch screens, but need an investment to launch commercial production. The applications range from entertainment and advertisement industries to medical applications. For example, Alma Group plans to use the technology for psycho-therapeutic treatments, while The Medical Group looks to use it as a air touch terminal for its reception.
Other developments I have come across during this research include Fog Screen (fabulous air displays, body movement detection is basic and is a very new development), Microsoft Research (shadows interacting with images projected onto a regular screen) and IO2 Technology’s Heliodisplay (pretty basic interactions, the price from $48 000). Displair’s devices can be produced at the cost between $4 000 and $30 000 depending on the size of the air screen. I hope the flood of emails and collaboration proposals will do well for Displair, and we will see its magic commercially available.
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