Virtual Princess Leia (of sorts)

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There haven’t been many nights over the last few decades where we haven’t imagined a 3D Princess Leia appearing before us with a request to help save her from the evil clutches of The Empire and, err, lots of other stuff that we can’t really mention here.

And at the Ceatec show in Chiba Japan the other week our dreams finally came true. For there on the Hitachi’s stand was a 3D image of the princess, or at least some Japanese take on her, muttering what as far as we know could have been anything from a plea to rouse the rebel leaders to the type of Sushi she fancied that evening.

Apparently the ultra clever 3D effect, no doubt inspired by the scene where Princess Leia begs for help via the robot R2-D2, involves some rather clever tricks with mirrors and cameras. Four cameras are set up to capture the images projected onto the mirrors, and the image data is then transmitted over special lines to the display.

At the display site, four projectors reflect the images off a ring of 24 mirrors. A double-sided mirror placed in the center of the ring spins rapidly, and about one-quarter of the original image appears on the spinning mirror.

Still with us? Can’t quite imagine what type of applications Hitachi has in mind for the system, and it certainly won’t be in your home by Christmas, but it was mighty impressive (sigh).

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