One of the enduring sci-fi moments of the big screen — R2-D2 beaming a 3-D image of Princess Leia into thin air in “Star Wars” — is closer to reality thanks to the smallest of screens: dust-like particles.

Scientists have figured out how to manipulate nearly unseen specks in the air and use them to create 3-D images that are more realistic and clearer than holograms, according to a study in Wednesday’s journal Nature . The study’s lead author, Daniel Smalley, said the new technology is “printing something in space, just erasing it very quickly.”

Source: Better than holograms: A new 3-D projection into thin air

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