The Japanese have consistently proven to be the wizards of the science world. Their inventions sometimes seem like they're ripped straight out of sci-fi anime, and that can only be a good thing. Today's invention is perhaps the most amazing thing to ever come out of the island nation since the Nintendo Entertainment System.
Japanese scientists revealed today that they have invented holograms that humans can touch and interact with. Even the most prophetic sci-fi novels usually depict holograms as being light and nothing more. Being able to touch holograms is unlike anything I've ever seen and it could lead to a whole host of new applications.
Check out a live demonstration of the technology. It's impressive, to say the least:
At the moment, the researchers are thinking small with their invention. They want to help create virtual objects, like light switches in hospitals, to help cut down on communal contamination that's caused by multiple people touching the same thing.
The researchers obviously have our best interests in mind, but it's only a matter of time before people take this technology into dark territories. One of the top YouTube comments even refers to Japanese virtual idol Hatsune Miku as being something otaku could one day touch thanks to this technology.
Speaking of idols, musical artists may one day be able to interact on stage with the late greats of their respective genres. Just imagine if Snoop
Dogg Lion was able to touch the holographic Tupac he performed with.
It's more likely that we'll see this technology being used for the next generation of tactile feedback in applications, including gaming. The researchers were already seen playing with a holographic ball. It's simple, but it has the potential to change how we interact with the environment.
Or we could waste it on virtual girlfriends...[h/t: Weird Asia News]