‘IRON MAN’ Tech in Reality: Holograms

Technology dependence has changed our lives drastically in recent years, but there is more to come. Technology has become an integral part of our lives. Now this technology that we are going to discuss today might be approaching to us in some way or the other. So, without any further ado, let’s roll into what’s known as ‘Multimodal Acoustic Trap Display’.


You might have seen Tony Stark a.k.a Iron Man always playing around and experimenting with 3D imagery all around him which is controlled by his AI ‘JARVIS’. What’s that 3D imagery and how can it be so interactive? Well, it is apparently a bunch of holograms grouped together. But what’s a hologram in the first place? A hologram is a three-dimensional graphical representation of an object which is projected onto a 3D space and which can be seen with naked eye. In simple terms, it’s a virtual representation of an object.

A still from Iron Man 2

SciFi holograms are yet very far-stretched into the future, but the technology has become evident enough to begin with.

Multimodal Acoustic Trap Display (MATD)

Just like holograms, this technology also creates some stunning 3D imagery but the twist is that along with being visible to the naked eye, it can also be heard by your ears in real time and can also be felt by your skin. Interesting, right? It reminds you of the hologram of Princess Leia in Star Wars (this is only applicable to true Star Wars’ fans). But hold on a second Murtuza, how is this possible in real life?

A hologram created by MATD having a width of around 2 cm.

Researchers at University of Sussex created MATD which uses ultrasound waves to trap a particle in 3D space and then colour it using appropriate lighting. The variable frequencies of ultrasound waves guide the particle through 3D space and with the help of it, the particle scans the 3D space in less than 0.1 second. Our eyes cannot keep a track of the moving particle, and as a result we see a single three-dimensional image in front of us.

It’s like the technology used in CRT televisions, in which the CRT fires a beam of electrons onto a material which can glow. The tube fires the electron beam one line at a time, starting from top left corner of the screen to the bottom right corner of the screen. But all this happens so fast that our eyes tend to see a single image instead of multiple lines.

Not only that, the graphics produced by this technology can also be made interactive. The images can be heard and also be felt. According to researchers, ultrasound waves can be redirected to stimulate your ears and skin to hear and feel the hologram respectively.

Applications of this Technology

This technology can be very useful in fields like biomedicine, design, architecture, entertainment, education and many more. The objects created by this technique are very small because this technology is still in its infancy stage. The width of the objects is roughly between 2 to 6 cm. But its also true that this technology is developing. Also, the effect of this technology on our health is yet to be explored.

That’s all for now. Haven’t read PART 2 of this series yet? Check out PART 2 here.

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