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VR Interfaces: Fogscreen


Overview of Fogscreen
Fogscreen is a holoprojection method that utilises a layer of artificially fogged air as a display screen for projected content. It in effect, creates a cascading curtain of wet air that can be walked through whilst displaying moving, bright, images.

The projection system uses a thin curtain of micro-droplets, hemmed in both front and back by a constant stream of downward moving air, generated by the projection system. This sandwiching, turbulence-free airflow actually stabilises the fog layer, reducing flickering. Additionally, it constrains the fog, keeping the particles to a thin area, thin enough that people can walk through it, without getting wet.

The system itself is a rear projection system with the actual projection system being behind the curtain of fog particles, projecting its images onto them. Objects such as people between the projector and the screen will thusly damage the image projection. Additionally because of the scattering effect of the moving water droplets, in order to obtain good images content should employ bright colors, high contrast images, and motion.

Like most such systems, Fogscreen does not handle black well, so a black backdrop seen behind and through the fogscreen is advised by the company to maintain a crispness of image.

First created in 2002, and only having entered commercial production in 2005, the Finnish system is primarily a rented one, and has been used for conferences, business events and theme parks across the globe, gathering an impressive resume in six short years. It is available for purchase, but few smaller organisations have the resources necessary to house and maintain the system, which requires significant technical skill.

Gesture trackers for interaction with Fogscreen, allowing users to change and manipulate data it displays, do work, but only if the gesture recognition system uses infra-red, to which the fog is invisible. Laser or sonic wave based triangulation systems do not work close to the fog, as the sound waves trigger turbulence and laser light is scattered.


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