Japan is known for always going the extra mile when it comes to making things as technologically advanced as possible, and its toilets are no different. Despite filling their laboratories with technology most of the western world has never even heard of before, there is still a downside, that being those pesky buttons people need to press in order to use the toilets.
Now, it looks like Japan has come up with a solution that to that problem, use holographic buttons instead. A Japanese company called Murakami Corporation, which specialises in making rear-view mirrors for cars has partnered with Parity Innovations, a start-up company that develops holographic display technology. Together, the two companies have created a holographic panel that seemingly floats in mid-air.
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Two companies have developed the ‘Parity Mirror’, which works by “finely dividing the light beams using discrete unit optical elements, then forming [floating] images by collecting the divided rays according to geometrical optics, ” according to Parity Innovations.
The floating images created by a Parity Mirror can be seen at any position, regardless of the direction and distance of viewing, creating the illusion of a ‘definite presence’, just like with real objects. The Parity Mirror is then combined with infrared sensors, which are able to detect the presence of a finger without ever having to make physical contact.
When these technologies are put together the result is a series of glowing ‘buttons’ that can be activated without ever really being there.
Murakami Corporation believes this technology could be used in Elevators, hospitals to gain entry, ATM operations, and of course for public toilets.
Don’t expect to see any of these holographic displays anytime soon though, as the Murakami Corporation only intends on mass-producing the displays in 2022.
Picture: Murakami Corporation