Interactive 3D Projection Is Foggy At Best

fog proj

Have a projector and a smoke machine handy? You might want to give this fog projection thing a shot! It’s called the MisTable and it’s a three-dimensional playground for interactive manipulation of images.

It’s a project by Bristol Interaction and Graphics group of the University of Bristol, and it’s an interesting twist on 3D projection. They’ve created what they call the MisTable which features a smoke machine, “smoke screens”, and three projectors. What it results in is an interactive table for two people. The tabletop surface is a display, as is the see through fog in front of each person (the “fog screens”).

While it is fairly easy to understand and explain, there’s a handy diagram after the following break showing how the system works. Our question is, when are one of you guys or gals going to try making one?


For a much clearer hologram-esq projection, there’s always glass like in the Pepper’s Ghost Illusion! But we have to admit being able to reach through the screen with the MisTable is pretty neat too.

[Thanks Douglas!]

14 thoughts on “Interactive 3D Projection Is Foggy At Best

    1. Reminded me of the Agents of Shield holotable
      My pondering in bed this morning was wondering If nitrogen molecules in the air could be excited to an energy state that they’d decay from and give off a photon at a visible wavelength, instead of in the UV range as in a TEA laser. IF there is such an energy state, then the next step would be to see if a group of 50, or however many, low power diode lasers would be enough to excite the molecule to that state. Then the 50 harmless lasers would all point to a single point in space, excite the molecule (read voxel), move on to the next voxel while the previous one decays and gives off its photon. Repeat as needed. But the idea’s probably dead at the first question.

  1. I do understand the value of this project especially from user interaction perspective. But like the rest of you, I agree…I don’t understand is how these guys managed to receive that much attention since fog display with gesture interface has been around for quite some time. See

    If their goal was to achieve a novel collaborative interaction system, I’m pretty sure anybody could achieve the same result (or even better result) by having two people wearing augmented reality wearable displays like MetaPro and start manipulating/sharing images to each other.

    But anyway, their work got published in ACM CHI so I can’t complain too much.

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