Walk through the Mona Lisa
August 1, 2003 10:20 AM   Subscribe

Diaphanous Fog Screen Projection Demonstrated at Siggraph, a thin sheet of dry fog is silently generated and used as a projection screen floating in the air, so you can literally step through it. Levels of opacity can be dialed up and down. Beautiful, but the possibilities seem to be appealing immediately to marketers (imagine a walkthough ad in your local shopping mall), and possibly some military folks. There are a couple videos here, you can see it looks like a video waterfall.
posted by kokogiak (15 comments total)
I was disappointed when I realized it was Fog rather than Frog.
posted by Hammerikaner at 10:32 AM on August 1, 2003

Cool. Shouldn't the next step be cylindrical holograms?
posted by mnology at 10:51 AM on August 1, 2003

Cool idea, and I bet it was a difficult challenge. I'm less impressed after watching the video. The persistence of a still image compensates for the undulations of the fog, but I doubt it would work well for video. It just doesn't hold together well enough in the bottom half.
posted by scarabic at 11:08 AM on August 1, 2003

Memories of a Poindexterous idea from a while back
posted by ElvisJesus at 11:10 AM on August 1, 2003

Perfect for a haunted house.
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:22 AM on August 1, 2003

I thought I was the only one, Hammerikaner! I was thinking, "Dried frog skins? What the hell...?"
posted by Holden at 11:50 AM on August 1, 2003

"Dried frog skins? What the hell...?"

In a not too dissimilar vein, the first electrostatic speaker was made by burnishing gold foil onto stretched pig intestines. The sound fidelity, and after a couple of days, the stench, were several orders of magnitude beyond any other speaker technology of the time.

It took until the 1950s (and thin polymer sheets that didn't rot and smell) before electrostatic speakers became commercially viable.
posted by eriko at 12:37 PM on August 1, 2003

Wow. Now this is a cool idea. If only they can make fog machines without the nasty odor...

But the applications are infinate, if the price is reasonable enough.
posted by Busithoth at 12:58 PM on August 1, 2003

What happens if you go up to one of these with a fan? Can you punch holes in the image?
posted by wanderingmind at 1:02 PM on August 1, 2003

They used something similar in Seaquest if I remember correctly.
posted by kindall at 1:45 PM on August 1, 2003

And I'm so excited about the fact that one of the first envisioned uses of this technology is...huge advertising! Anywhere! That you can't ignore because you'll have to walk through it to get anywhere else!
posted by FormlessOne at 1:48 PM on August 1, 2003

How long till a rock band has one the size of the stage?

OK, idea cribbed from here
posted by inpHilltr8r at 4:49 PM on August 1, 2003

They also use that technology on the Indiana Jones rides at Disney to simulate cobwebs in one section.
posted by Samizdata at 5:19 PM on August 1, 2003

I wonder if a vacuum of the same dimensions as the fog emitter located under the screen would provide a more continuous image and less of the unraveling effect shown in the video.

In any case, I can't see this working very well for a sort of advertising you can walk through application. It's still basically a rear-projection screen, meaning that people would almost constantly block the projector in an open area like a mall. Plus, half the audience will be seeing the image backwards, and those projectors are really, really expensive.
posted by mmcg at 5:59 PM on August 1, 2003

My idea: this could be used in a hortocultural display (anyone been to an orchid show?) to show pics (I think video isn't good enough) of things related to the plants being shown.
posted by mcchesnj at 6:04 AM on August 2, 2003

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