Japan's National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) has been chasing holographic
damsels in distress for as long as we can remember, and honestly, the technology's still not quite there, but the team that brought us the gCubik has
managed to create a low-res 3D hologram table that impresses anyhow. Using an twist on the famous optical illusion toys that use convex mirrors to make objects appear to float in the air, NICT hits a specially-designed optical filter cone with the light from 96 pico projectors
. The result is a series of familiar-looking rabbits, teapots and the occasional rubber duck standing five centimeters high and visible through 120 degrees, a good sight better than the two-degree radius
afforded them by the original technology. The best part is there's no case enclosing these creations, unlike competing ideas
, so we'll eventually see 360-degree tables where your fingers can frolic alongside the ethereal leporidae. Watch the lead researcher demo a prototype after the break.