The iconic scene in Star Wars: A New Hope where R2D2 plays a holographic message from Princess Leia could soon be introduced to real life as researchers have made the most realistic version to date.
Scientists from the Australia National University (ANU) have now created a device which is capable of producing the best holographic images ever seen in real life.
Holograms are three dimensional images that are projected from a device and are produced by manipulating the interaction of light beams.
Lei Wang, a student at the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering and co-leader of the study, said that the new device was inspired by the Star Wars franchise.
The most realistic hologram to date
He said: "As a child, I learned about the concept of holographic imaging from the Star Wars movies.
"It's really cool to be working on an invention that uses the principles of holography depicted in those movies.”
The Princess Leia hologram in Star Wars
However, the device, according to Mr Wang, can be used for many other applications and not just for Star Wars nostalgia.
The student said: "While research in holography plays an important role in the development of futuristic displays and augmented reality devices, today we are working on many other applications such as ultra-thin and light-weight optical devices for cameras and satellites.”
It could pave the way for super-realistic holograms
Co-lead researcher Dr Sergey Kruk described how the device was constructed by the team using millions of minuscule silicon pillars.
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Dr Kruk explained: "This new material is transparent, which means it loses minimal energy from the light, and it also does complex manipulations with light.
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"Our ability to structure materials at the nanoscale allows the device to achieve new optical properties that go beyond the properties of natural materials.
"The holograms that we made demonstrate the strong potential of this technology to be used in a range of applications."