Writing has progressed from stones to scrolls to paper and now air. We’ve always known that hologram technology has a bright future. Microsoft HoloLens 2 was rumored to have a feature that would allow users to interact with thin air last year. If researchers continue to work on the technology, it’s almost certain that it will eventually be available to everyone.
Chinese scientists demonstrated a laser that can generate ghostly Chinese characters from thin air. Lasers have previously been used to create a variety of optical illusions, but they required dust or clouds as a medium. A Chinese team has created the world’s most sensitive wind-detecting laser.
The South China Morning Post reported yesterday that the pen uses ultra-short laser pulses to strip the electrons from air particles and turn them into light-emitting plasma with sufficient precision to form words in mid-air. “With the brand new device, we can draw in the air without using paper and ink,” lab lead scientist Cao Xiangdong told the state-affiliated Science and Technology Daily this week, as reported by the SCMP.
According to reports, the pen emits laser bursts that last only a few quadrillionths of a second. Simultaneously, its power output is nearly incomprehensible. According to the SCMP, the laser pen can reach one million megawatts, which is close to the total amount of power that the United States can generate. However, because the bursts are so brief, the device does not consume a large amount of power, making it, according to scientists, relatively safe to use.
The team is hoping the pen could someday be used in quantum computing, brain imaging, and another advanced tech. Or maybe we’ll even see some awesome new holographic technology.