A Polish company is producing a high-resolution, interactive screen made of nothing but water vapour. The screen allows users to control images in mid-air. Suzannah Butcher reports.
This touch screen may look like it's been constructed from the kind of futuristic material only found in science fiction movies... ...but it's actually nothing more than a wall of mist. Combined with multimedia projectors and motion sensors, the mist becomes a way to display and control high resolution images. Polish engineer Daniel Skutela is one of those behind the Leia Display System. (SOUNDBITE) (Polish) CONSTRUCTOR OF LDS SCREEN, DANIEL SKUTELA, SAYING: "Our devices emit a very thin layer of water vapour which becomes the base for an image. It is a layer on which you can display an image using a regular multimedia projector, but you can also walk through it, insert the hand through it and the displayed image seems to be hung up in the air." Working from a garage in Warsaw, Skutela and his programmer Marcin Panek originally planned to target the event and entertainment industries with their product. But they say there are many more possible uses. (SOUNDBITE) (Polish) PROGRAMMER OF LDS SCREEN, MARCIN PANEK, SAYING: "Even though Leia was made with the event market in mind, every day we discover a lot of new applications. Huge possibilities for us, for example, are museums where the viewer needs to be intrigued. Leia is very suitable for this." The creators say their invention gives a much steadier display than those which are made of steam, where images can become blurred and distorted. And with multiple units able to be placed together to stretch across a whole room, they believe there's no limit to its potential.