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Oscar-winning actress feels the force

Pablo Motos, presenter of El Hormiguero; Penélope Cruz; Chino Darín and Asier Marzo

Left to right: Pablo Motos, presenter of El Hormiguero; Penélope Cruz; Chino Darín and Asier Marzo 7yAcción

30 November 2016

Research undertaken at the University of Bristol, involving CDT in Communications PhD student Themis Omirou, has demonstrated a mid-air display of ‘floating pixels’ using soundwaves and force fields to Spanish actress and model, Penélope Cruz and actor, Chino Darín, on the Spanish TV programme El Hormiguero.

El Hormiguero focuses on comedy, science, and guest interviews. The actors were on the programme promoting their new film The Queen of Spain.

The ‘floating pixels’ have been created by scientists from the Universities of Bristol and Sussex using soundwaves to lift many tiny objects at once before spinning and flipping them using electric force fields. The Bristol Ultrasonics and Non-destructive Testing (NDT) group is led by Professor Bruce Drinkwater, and the Sussex Interact Lab by Professor Sriram Subramanian.

The technology – called JOLED - effectively turns tiny, multi-coloured spheres into real-life pixels, which can form into floating displays or bring computer game characters to life as physical objects and was detailed in the paper 'JOLED: A mid-air display based on electrostatic rotation of levitated Janus objects’ by Deepak Ranjan Sahoo, Takuto Nakamura, Asier Marzo, Themis Omirou, Michihiro Asakawa and Sriram Subramanian, presented on 17 October at the ACM UIST 2016 conference in Japan.

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