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January 11 2013

Holograms in the Palm of Your Hand

Holograms are a science-fiction staple from Star Trek’s holodeck to the famous scene in Star Wars where a holographic Princess Leia implores, “Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi.” But the reality has never lived up to the dream.

That might change. Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology built a tiny device that contains a grid of 4,096 miniature antennas (64 by 64) that steer beams of infrared light to create patterns. Their so-called phased array was able to generate an image -- in this case a tiny MIT logo -- and "float" it a few millimeters out in front of the grid.

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