The AquaLux 3D by the Robotics Institute of the Carnegie Mellon University is capable of projecting 3D images—by focusing its image on specific "layers" of water droplets. The research team thinks that their water-based display has the potential to create 3D images that don't require special eyeglasses to fully appreciate.
The system relies on fine computer control, for the water dropper and projector arrays. In fact, the team uses Hertz (Hz)—a unit normally associated with conventional displays—to measure the amount of water released in front of the projectors (30 Hz). With both components working in sync, AquaLux 3D can shine different parts of the 3D composite as a staggered series of planes. When viewed from the front, these planes come together to create the impression of depth.
As a visual medium relying on a continuous stream of water, AquaLux 3D also has some unique interactive potential. At the very least, users can touch the water and affect the image's projection. The researchers say that "we look forward to the day when creative people can fully explore the potential of this display." Unfortunately that's a clear sign that it may be years before we see anything remotely similar to the AquaLux 3D hit the consumer market.