The trick to any good 3-D tech is creating a system in which the viewer's eyes receive two slightly different images, creating the kind of dual perspective that gives imagery depth--and hence the illusion of three-dimensions even within a flat space like a television display. With most light emitters, which look the same when viewed from any angle, this can prove difficult. But a new kind of fiber developed at MIT that can emit light variably in different directions along its entire length can present light at different intensities to two different viewers, and it could lead to woven 3-D displays that project different visual information to a viewer's left and right eyes.
It's a kind of validation when our past visions of the future and the present collide, reminding us that things we thought were possible back then actually were within reach. Take, for example, Tokyo-based Burton's Aerial 3D technology. The company claims it's the first 3-D tech that casts three-dimensional objects in mid-air without using any kind of screen. It recalls that scene in Star Wars where the crustacean-faced guy is planning the rebel battleplan around his big holographic table.
Just in time for back to school, UC Berkeley researchers have created what might be the coolest backpack ever: a wearable collection of cameras and lasers that maps the interiors of buildings as it goes, instantly generating photo-real 3-D maps of structures.