The new shape changing fog screen is by far one of the most innovative and interesting inventions that occurred so far. The screen also plays a major role in the creation of visual effects for movies. The mid-air display allows users to reach through it and interact with 2D and 3D objects, while these change shape and position in order to optimize visibility, facilitate interaction, or flexibility to adapt to single or multiple users interacting.

While the shape-changing displays and fog screens are a reality, this is the first time when the two technologies have been combined, paving the way to multiple possibilities. The invention will be presented on May 10 in Denver, CO, USA, at the world’s biggest conference, CHI 2017 – Computer-Human Interaction.

The fog displays were created in such a manner that they scatter light in an uneven way, as well as a different amount of light in different directions. In an effort to understand these scattering patterns and controlling the shape, common visibility and brightness problems are still to be addressed. On the other hand, by making use of the shape reconstruction, as well as of the 3D projection algorithms, the product, named MistForm, adjusts its shape to better support user interaction, while removing any image distortion caused by projecting on moving, curved fog surfaces.

MistForm is the size of a 39 inch TV screen, formed of fog stabilized by curtains of air. The screen has the ability to move towards and away from the user and bend into different shapes. As an example, it can curve around two collaborators, providing optimum visibility for both people, or it can take on a triangular shape, so the people can work independently on different areas of the screen.