Japanese Technology Turns Images into Holograms

A new gizmo from Japan promises to liven up presentations by turning flat images into 3D projections.

he device, named Hakoani, is made up of a pyramid of semitransparent mirrors, enclosed inside a box, which then reflect specially configured images from a table such as an iPad placed below in three dimensions. Hakoani can also be used with solid items under the pyramid, allowing animators to interact with the virtual images which will appear inside.

[youtube height=”HEIGHT” width=”WIDTH”]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UeFPZL0PRw[/youtube]

[quote align=”center” color=”#b64736″]Hakoani displaying Zunko Tohoku, an animated charactor which was created  to serve as a cheerful mascot to support the people in Japan’s Tohoku region after the devestating earthquake and tsunami in 2011.[/quote]

Priced at a slightly steep 36,750 Japanese yen, which is about £299.20, it may be a while before the device becomes a household essential.  The reason for this high price is that a special type of film is used on the mirrors to minimise distortion.

Although currently marketed at Japan’s huge audience of grown up anime cartoon fans, it’s likely that designers would appreciate the portability of this device over carrying around sample pieces, or to create exciting online advertising. Augmented reality is already a popular concept with luxury goods marketers, and it’s not too much of a jump to see how this could be used as a way to cheaply showcase high end goods to mass markets.

Hakoani went on sale to the Japanese market on the 1st of August, and in the future developers are hoping to create larger versions for use at events like exhibitions and trade fairs.

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