The team at the university uses voxels and ultrasound waves to keep the pixels floating in mid-air. These pixels are actually floating in mid-air (via University of Sussex)
With most of our times spent staring at screens, the clear, crispness of displays are important. Every year devices seek out pixels that are better and make for the ultimate viewing experience. But what if the pixels floated in midair? The University of Sussex has created an experimental display, dubbed JOLED, made of a grid of voxels that measure 7x6 voxels high and wide. That’s not the mind blowing part. The voxels look like multi-colored spheres that float in mid-air.
Looking at the testing footage, it looks like a magic trick or CGI footage, but this is very real. The spheres stay in the air by ultrasound speakers that put out high-pitched and high intensity soundwaves, which are inaudible but forceful enough to keep the spheres in the air. The pixels themselves are coated in titanium dioxide, which gives them an electrostatic charge which allows them to be manipulated in mid-air with a change in the electric force field.
So what can this technology be used for? The team at Sussex is currently testing how the display can be used to provide on-demand media. They see it as a screen appearing in front of the viewer and then the objects fall to the ground once the video is finished. They also want viewers to be able to interact with it. Sounds like something out of The Matrix. The team also wants to up the pixel density along with the colors displayed.
It’s definitely cool to see these pixels float in the air looking like it was created with movie magic. But don’t expect to see the display for yourself anytime soon. The team still has a lot of work to do before they make this technology a reality. Recently, the team presented their findings at Japan’s ACM User Interface Software and Technology Symposium. This technology could lead to new possibilities for media, including mobile and game designers.
Who knows, this is what our displays could look like in the future. For now, we’ll have to shell out a lot of cash for those flat old 4K TVs. Or.. is it time to dust off the CRT?
Have a story tip? Message me at: cabe(at)element14(dot)com