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Buzz Bonus: See It All in 3D; That's a Worm, Mac

This deserves a triple take: Scientists at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Japan have demonstrated a new technology that creates an actual 3-D display in midair .

Unlike conventional 3-D displays, which create an optical illusion through sophisticated computer graphics, the new technology uses multiple infrared lasers aligned to create small amounts of plasma. The plasma acts as a floating "dot" atop the laser grid, and the lasers pulse across several reflectors, creating 100 dots per second. The result is a floating, 3-D image that can be viewed from all sides.

We're a long way from the "Star Trek" holodeck here, and we're pretty sure it's not safe to reach out and touch laser-generated plasma. But the idea has potential. --Tim Wilson, [email protected]

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