The Heliodisplay is a free-space display developed by IO2 technologies. A projector is focused onto a layer of mist in mid-air, resulting in a two-dimensional display that appears to float. This is similar in principle to the cinematic technique of rear projection. As dark areas of the image may appear invisible, the image may be more realistic than on a projection screen, although it is still not volumetric. Looking directly at the display, one would also be looking into the projector's light source. The necessity of an oblique viewing angle may be a disadvantage. Customer reports suggest that the screen is very dim and "wavy" with the slightest of air movement causing the image to become invisible. The technology is reportedly still very unstable and continued faultless running should not be expected.
Heliodisplay can work as a floating touchscreen when connected to a PC by a USB cable. The PC sees the Heliodisplay as a pointing device, like a mouse. With the supplied software installed, one can use a finger, pen, or another object as cursor control and navigate or interact with simple content
The development of this distinctive technology, dubbed Heliodisplay by its developer Chad Dyner, began early this decade after Dyner decided to trade a promising career as an architect to become an inventor. Dyner bought an ordinary digital projector, took it apart, and spent entire days trying to figure out a way to stop in midair the light coming from the projector without engaging a traditional screen. Though the details are kept a closely-guarded secret, Dyner was willing to provide a general description of the way the Heliodisplay works
The Heliodisplay or Fog Screen technology from IO2 Technologies can project computer-based images onto thin particles of moisture. The airborne film of moisture generated by the device — the black box with the large slot pictured in the foreground — captures the light from the projector to allow the images to take shape. Shown here, the laptop in the background is running a video of a woman on a cellphone, while the Heliodisplay simultaneously turns it into an image that appears to be floating in thin air.
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