In its latest issue, CIO Magazine looks at Hitachi's new AirSho imaging system which "projects dynamic pictures onto nearly invisible glass surfaces, such as a storefront window," a la Minority Report style.
The system displays full-motion images -- generated by a PC or DVD player -- that give the illusion of appearing out of nowhere. It uses a floor- or ceiling-mounted projector that shines video onto a photopolymer-resinous Plexiglas display. The 40- or 60-inch diagonal screen sticks to the window's surface with water -- like a decal. "It's similar to a screen, but you can actually see right through it while an image is appearing," says Ray Soltys, a spokesman for Hitachi America's Digital Media Division.
Stores, shopping malls, travel agencies, banks, airports and a variety of other businesses can use the system for advertising and informational purposes. "We've seen a lot of interest from retail chains that want the ability to control and update in-store advertising from a central location via networked PCs," says Soltys.
The system is a slick combination of cutting-edge materials and optical engineering. The screen consists of a 60-nanometer film of photopolymer resin glued to a piece of Plexiglas. The film itself is laser etched to create tiny prisms. Each prism must be angled precisely, and the Plexiglas must contain no air bubbles so that the projected light can follow a path directly into the viewers' eyes.
Here is an illustration of the Hitachi's AirSho Display System in action (Image from Hitachi).
Of course, if you want one, you'll need to open your wallet.
AirSho is priced at $5,963 and $8,330 for the 40- and 60-inch models, respectively. For some retailers, that will be a small price to pay to catch the attention of potential customers.
For more information about the Airsho, please visit the Hitachi's AirSho Display System page.
Source: John Edwards, CIO Magazine, July 1,2003 Issue
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