Maybe the solution to touchscreen displays that don't get washed out in direct sunlight is to skip the screen altogether. Researchers at Aerial Burton are working to perfect a new kind of display technology that uses lasers to produce 3D pixelated images that appear to hang in mid-air and are still visible no matter how bright it is outside.

The projector technology itself uses a 1kHz infrared laser (so it's invisible to the human eye) that's fired into a rapidly moving mirror that reflects and focuses the pulse onto specific points in the air. The area where the laser is focused becomes ionized which then causes visible photons to be released creating the bright white dots.

And just like the display on your smartphone, the more dots (pixels) that can be used to create the 3D image that seems to just hang in the air, the more detailed and complex it can be. Initially the researchers are hoping their new projection technology can be employed during emergencies, providing highly visible signage and directions for escape routes. But once a stadium gets its hands on the tech, imagine how cool a 3D floating scoreboard would be. [DigInfo TV]