A team of researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania have developed a novel way to render 3D images using an array of screens...made of water!
The screens are created by 50 computer controlled stainless steel needles which can drop up to 60 individual drops a second. These drops are then illuminated via a projector which gives the impressions of a solid screen.
An incredible level of precision is needed to make the four screens work in tandem, as the sets of needles have to dispense their droplets at slightly different times to ensure one set is not blocking the next.
The development team have released a video
showing the screen rendering a game of Tetris, though its obvious that the technology is currently in its infancy.
Its difficult to envisage actual usages for the technology, and its arguably more of a proof of concept exercise than a sure-fire commercial hit. The team did point out that the screen could be set up to use sterilised water, meaning it could be used in sterile environments such as operating theatres.
It also has the distinct advantage that it doesn't require 3D glasses to provide a 3D image
Can you see any practical application of the technology or is this just a case of research for research's sake? Let us know your thoughts in the forums