It’s a near-universal hope that one day, technology will be advanced enough to create realistic interactive holograms like those featured in the Iron Man and Avengers movies. Until that time arrives, engineer Alberto Beltran Herrera’s Waiik Interactive Hologram Projector is the next best option.
According to Herrera, the Waiik “is a projector in free space,” meaning it doesn’t need a tangible surface to project images and video. Unlike propeller-based holograms, the projector allows you to move your hand through those images and even interact with them as though it was a touchscreen.
The Waiik projector was designed with two main systems with the first being the holographic screen, which uses an intersection of low-power sonic waves to generate a mist of 10-micron water droplets small enough to be invisible to the human eye but large enough to retain light from a project housed on the back of the machine. Those particles are then shot up using forced air currents on both sides of the projector, forming a 3mm-thick 1280 x 720p screen.
The second system includes the projector’s sensor system, which features an array of infrared (IR) emitters and sensors with wide-angle lenses that translate instructions garnered from obstructions from the FOV of the sensors, into actions on the water-mist display, thus creating interaction possibilities.
The Waiik comes in two versions — Lite and Regular. The Lite version is for those who want to use their own DLP projector over the included version on the Regular platform. The full version comes with an Android-based projection system, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 8Gb of internal storage. Both models can also utilize the same apps and tools, such as making holo-calls, playing interactive games, and modeling 3D images (among a host of others).
Herrera is currently crowdfunding the Waiik on Kickstarter, and those interested in grabbing one can pledge $265 for the Lite version or $650 and up for the complete system.