Alpha 981 > Item Display (de-DE)

Levitation becomes a reality


One day we may not only see, hear and touch devices, but also feel the objects shown on them at the tip of our fingers. Thanks to levitation, 3D items will be created using floating pixels

Levitation is an old dream of humankind. For centuries, magicians gave audiences the illusion of defying gravity, seemingly making objects of people float into the air. Now European scientists are turning this into reality.

Researchers at the University of Glasgow, UK, have managed to suspend little polystyrene particles in mid-air, supported only by ultrasonic acoustic waves. This is levitation. The technology may lead to new kinds of displays to command machines and hence revolutionise human-machine interactions. Data, for example, will not appear anymore on a flat screen, but become physical levitating objects, rising before us in mid-air; and, with simple, intuitive gestures, people could work on them.

“If I was working on a model of a car, instead of having it of clay, I could have that model created in front of me, with multiple little pixels in space, marking out the surface of the car. For example, I could make gestures to change the way the headlights work,” explains Stephen Brewster, Professor of Human-Computer Interactions at the University of Glasgow.

Or take a music player with a levitating play button. The user would only need to tap a finger in the air to turn the music on or off.

The study runs under the EU project Levitate, supported by the European Future and Emerging Technologies programme (FET).

Watch the video here:
Angehängte Dokumente
  • 04.JPG
Regions: Europe, Belgium, United Kingdom
Keywords: Applied science, Engineering, Technology, Science, Physics


We have used AlphaGalileo since its foundation but frankly we need it more than ever now to ensure our research news is heard across Europe, Asia and North America. As one of the UK’s leading research universities we want to continue to work with other outstanding researchers in Europe. AlphaGalileo helps us to continue to bring our research story to them and the rest of the world.
Peter Dunn, Director of Press and Media Relations at the University of Warwick
AlphaGalileo has helped us more than double our reach at SciDev.Net. The service has enabled our journalists around the world to reach the mainstream media with articles about the impact of science on people in low- and middle-income countries, leading to big increases in the number of SciDev.Net articles that have been republished.
Ben Deighton, SciDevNet
AlphaGalileo is a great source of global research news. I use it regularly.
Robert Lee Hotz, LA Times

Wir arbeiten eng zusammen mit...

  • BBC
  • The Times
  • National Geographic
  • The University of Edinburgh
  • University of Cambridge
Copyright 2021 by DNN Corp Terms Of Use Privacy Statement