After Hours

FogScreen features breakthrough projection technology

57 comments
gesichos
gesichos

its fab.....i can scream..magnificent... wann b part of your tech... gesichos@yahoo.com

Tachyon
Tachyon

I seem to recall this same technology on the TV series Seaquest. I wonder if the founders were sci-fi fans that decided this was cool and decided to make it real? Tachyon

t36kr84
t36kr84

From the Ideas of projecting images on low lying clouds to curtains of generated smoke is not new. Perhaps the technology has developed to a state where we have progressed beyond the "Bat Man come help" search light type of image transfer or the crude LASER persistance of vision image. What resolutions are being achieved? How about layered images on storm clouds? ..or back illumination from orbit? Outdoor drive ins? Have there been any attempts to display HD movies or advertising -like bill boards?

Heimdall222
Heimdall222

FogScreen is essentially a linear, laminar-flow ultrasonic room humidifier. It's a neat adaptation of a well-recognized commercial application of the technology. (See http://fogscreen.com.) There are, however, some concerns with this device which do not appear to be addressed on the FogScreen website. Unless the appropriate comments are hidden amongst the humongous raft of advertising.... 1. The "white dust" problem. Tap water typically contains a significant amount of minerals, the stuff that makes water hard. Unless an ultrasonic fog maker contains a demineralization cartridge, these minerals are contained in the water droplets produced by the vaporizer. When the water evaporates, the minerals have to go somewhere. That somewhere is a fine white dust coating on everything in range and/or very fine particulates floating around the room. The dust coating is an annoyance of greater or lesser extent, depending on the mineral content of the water. The floating mineral particles could be a health hazard, of currently unknown extent. There are, AFAIK, currently no health warnings issued by any government agency regarding these air-borne mineral particulates. However, the EPA notes, as good practice, using demineralization facilities or distilled water with ultrasonic humidifiers. (See http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/humidif.html.) 2. The floating microorganism problem. In some cases, those floating particulates can contain microorganisms, aka "germs". Unless demineralization facilities or distilled water are used, poor maintenance practices will probably lead to a buildup of scale in the fog maker, which scale can lead to a buildup of microorganisms in the fog. The EPA recommends "...water with low mineral content to prevent the build-up of scale and the dispersal of minerals into the air", and "...in the absence of specific recommendations, clean all surfaces coming in contact with water with a 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide" as a disinfecting agent. Unless, of course, you like to breathe, um, stuff. 3. The high humidity problem. Per their website, the FogScreen Inia projection screen puts into the air 1-2.5 gallons of water per hour and the One 0.8-1.3 gallons per hour per screen, depending on fog output. Especially in relatively small and/or poorly-ventilated areas, this water input could lead to humidity buildup with resulting microorganism buildup. The EPA says not to "...humidify to indoor relative humidity levels exceeding 50 percent. Higher humidity levels may encourage the growth of biological organisms in the home." Unless you like dripping ceilings and black spots on the walls. 4. The HVAC vent problem. Since FogScreen relies on laminar flow, an HVAC vent blowing on or near the fog could disrupt the integrity of the screen. This could require relocation of the screen or redirection of the HVAC air flow, or make the FogScreen unusable in a given area. Again, unless I missed it, none of the above are addressed on the FogScreen website. Perhaps the company would like to comment...?

josephrot
josephrot

Been there, done that. Old hat. This type of technology and either same or VERY closely related idea was seen / discussed a long time ago on the SciFi SeaQuest DSV program.

josephrot
josephrot

Been there, done that. Old hat. This type of technology and either same or VERY closely related idea was seen / discussed a long time ago on the SciFi SeaQuest DSV program.

josephrot
josephrot

Been there, done that. Old hat. This type of technology and either same or VERY closely related idea was seen / discussed a long time ago on the SciFi SeaQuest DSV program.

ajscott
ajscott

Hey folk this is not anything new. The tv show SeaQuest DSV had this working for real as part of the show.

lbolanis
lbolanis

I wonder if it's capable of supporting holographic images?? Everything here seems to be single-dimentional...it would be cool to use this with a holographic generator : )

martipe1
martipe1

At 5 to 10 liters of water per hour, I don't think so

techrepublic
techrepublic

Nice reality check, t36kr84. They were around when I was a kid, and even today skywriters are tolerable and even a little intriguing because they only appear when weather conditions are perfect. How long before we start seeing visual pollution like advertising on clouds? Once the technology is developed (and this shows it can't be that far off), are cloudy nights destined to be full of junk food and car advertisements? Are there any laws preventing us from being unwillingly bombarded in this way?

jorden.woods
jorden.woods

Thanks for your thoughts on the FogScreen. FogScreen technology has been around for nearly 4 years and all the issues you have listed above have been dealt with and solved during this time. Here is how: 1. The FogScreen creates water droplets (generally 2-3 microns) that are much smaller than in your standard cool air humidifier. Minerals stay in the tank and are cleaned out through regular maintenance. White dust does not form and the FogScreen is being used in many ultra-sensitive museum environments around the world as well as the poshest night clubs and hotels. 2. Each FogScreen is designed with a Silver-ion channel which purifies the water by killing any living organism within it. As a result, there are no living micro-organisms in the fog produced by a FogScreen. 3. The humidity produced by a FogScreen is equivalent to 20-30 people breathing. This is generally far fewer people than are in the area where the screens are used. Again, FogScreens are used in ultra-sensitive museum environments and humidity is not an issue. 4. The FogScreen uses a patented airflow system in which the fog flow is protected by two air curtains. These air curtains sandwich the fog flow and maintain its integrity in most indoor environments. Sincerely Jorden Woods, President US Operations, FogScreen, Inc.

george.catlin
george.catlin

It is a cool mist but it is not dry. The water is recycled or removed from the enclosed area to avoid rain forest humidity. It is the same idea they displayed on SeaQuest. It can get fuzzy since the projection screen is "thick". Off axis views are worse. Holo or 3D is difficult since the volume is filled with fog droplets. Any one projector creates a simultaneous picture through the entire volume and degrades as it goes. It is still really cool.

frank.fisher
frank.fisher

and I recall seeing something similar at a pink floyd gig in 1980 I think

ghschase-myjunk
ghschase-myjunk

I think you could use this technology to make a total immersion reality experience. All you would need is a room with movable panels (to give the illusion of moving from one space to another) and also be able to move the fog machine and projection equipment around. Maybe even have a computer track where a person is standing in the room and in so doing optimize the visual experience for that person. We have all that technology now. Someone just needs to put it all together..... I really think it's possible.

eric
eric

5-10 liters of water per hour is no problem, unless the screen is used indoors in a small space, then you could easily have a condensation issue. While water vapor is a major contributor to global warming, it's constantly cycling through the air and there are huge amounts of it already in the air. Clouds, eh? The contribution of this small amount of water isn't much, less than what you'd lose watering your lawn, I think. Besides, rain removes vapor from the air... Worst is the power consumption. 2kw???? You can't draw that much from a normal 15A outlet, you'll have to get a 20A or 30A outlet. Here's what cnet had for typical power consumption of devices: Power consumption compared TVs: Average plasma: 328 watts Average rear-projection: 208 watts Average LCD: 193 watts Average CRT: 146 watts Other A/V gear: PlayStation 3: 197 watts Xbox360: 187 watts Average PC: 78 watts DirecTV HR20 DVR: 33 watts Wii: 19 watts Slingbox: 9 watts Wireless router: 7 watt So, this thing use TEN TIMES the power of the average LCD TV. That's not very eco-friendly.

SingerGuy
SingerGuy

One very foggy day in London or San Francisco will produce more water vapor in the air than every one of these that the company is likely to produce in their entire product lifetime. Can't we all get over the idea that puny little man has all that much power over the massive global environment? We're just not that powerful. Deal with it.

ghschase-myjunk
ghschase-myjunk

There are pools of water all over the planet. Do you think that water just sits there? Before we had concrete and pavement all over the ground, there was mostly grass, weeds and trees. They all emit water. Having more water distributed in the air might help normalize the environment. Try looking at the upside and not always at the downside of new technology.

pinroot
pinroot

Water vapor IS the number one greenhouse gas. This thing is just going to speed up our globally-warmed imminent demise :)

lapdog65
lapdog65

"tap water and ultrasonic waves to create a thin curtain of "dry" fog"?? In Ohio we call that a cold mist humidifier. Can you imaging the humidity it could cause in a smaller area? Putting "5 to 10 liters of water per hour" would only condensate on the walls and windows, not harm the environment.

t36kr84
t36kr84

brett.monten-a sad example of capitalism most certainly on it's way.

jackray
jackray

Sounds like FogScreen has covered all of the imaginary bases that people tried to think up or thought the worst of. Of course, as usual, most people just shot their mouths off without a shred of evidence, scientific fact or documentation. This seems more and more typical of American thought these days. I appreciate getting the current up to date data from the horses mouth, no foggy pun intended. Now we know the rest of the story. Thanks Jordan for your 2 cents worth and the very cool technology.

rwyer
rwyer

pic's don't do it!

Kevin.Dearing
Kevin.Dearing

But then again, maybe it was the drugs I was on... --KTFA

alec.wood
alec.wood

2Kw Plus another 250-300W for the projector, plus the audio amplifiers etc it will be paired up with. Products like this need to be slammed for what they are, a senseless waste of resources. Sure it's nice technologically, quite innovative, but in the modern era, knowing what we know now, there can be little or no justification for marketing a product which uses 11+ times as much energy as the alternatives. Surely we should be seeking to innovate more energy efficient alternatives.

pete
pete

"Tap water" is also a problem - the energy used to clean up rain water and the infrastructure required to get it to and from the device are a significant factor. This thing should only be allowed to run on a rainy day, using water from the roof of the building directly :) BTW, my kettle draws more than 2kW from it's normal 13A outlet, but then we use proper 240V electricity over here... (and in much of the rest of the world)

TheRealPauper
TheRealPauper

Hmmm... well, I guess we'd better Saran Wrap all the oceans then ... right ???

tony.henderson
tony.henderson

You're close, but I think you must be confusing water vapor with that other greenhouse gas, Di-Hydrogen Oxide. You should start a campaign to eliminate THAT nasty little bugger!

Manitobamike
Manitobamike

I'm not an expert but have never heard of such nonsense, that water vapour is a greenhouse gas. Perhaps just the reverse. Vapour into the air clings to other molecules and causes them to rain back to the surface, not provide the blanket effect of greenhouse gases.

esko.haavisto
esko.haavisto

Water covers most of our planet, clouds and rain are water. Large areas of land lack water. Sahara desert grows.. Carbon Dioxide is the greenhouse gas, that causes problems with not enough vegetation to suck it up. The amount of Carbon dioxide rises because of fossile fuels (gasoline and diesel, oils for ships and fuel for airplanes)that do not return to the vegetation.. The plants that produced oils are long gone. Water evaporates and returns back as rain. This projection screen water does not add to anything. it comes from the tap and returns to the wells. How crazy is the world getting? Soon we have to slaughter evry breathing mammal to stop the natures circle of life?. More rottning plants and fallen trees should be burned to save fossile fuels. Water is not a problem.

chaneys
chaneys

I thought it was cow farts.

bill
bill

If water vapor is the number one greenhouse gas, then isn't the development of the hydrogen fuel cell vehicles a problem? What will happen when there are hundreds of thousands of cars emitting water vapor as their end product?

martipe1
martipe1

Would you say that your house is green if you have a tap water leak of 5 to 10 liters per hour? I know water condenses and produces clouds that eventually will come back as rain, but what is the cost involved into bringing that rain as tap water? Environmentally friendly is not just related to upfront pollution, but also on hidden environmental costs related to this water screen

pinroot
pinroot

You're close, but I think you must be confusing water vapor with that other greenhouse gas, Di-Hydrogen Oxide. You should start a campaign to eliminate THAT nasty little bugger! Somebody already beat me to it! http://www.dhmo.org/ :)

TSMoore
TSMoore

Let me see if I have this straight an encyclopedia that is edited by amatuers is now the refernce source for information about one of the most widely debated subjects of our time. The fact is that until the scientists stop grabbing for every grant and award they can gather we will still be stuck with the questionable hypothesis of human caused global warming. Global Warming is Real. it is a natural process all of you experts need to read about the increase in solar activity that started warming the planet in the late 70's. until then the hand wringers were warning about global cooling. If you care buy a hybrid, recycle and stop wasting energy. Until they make reduced consumption fashionabls it will remain a fringe activity since the largest consumers among us are insulated from the cost of energy.

Bob.Kerns
Bob.Kerns

Or at least, if it starts snowing CO2 we're in deep trouble... So anyway, your last sentence makes no sense at all, unless you're considering carbon to be an "impurity". I'd bet the H2O contribution of all the cars in the world wouldn't offset the impact of the loss of wetlands, forest and rain forest, and unpaved land lost to roads and parking lots. Water which used to be held back, with a percentage evaporating, is now rushing toward the ocean after every rain.

wdewey@cityofsalem.net
wdewey@cityofsalem.net

This is where global warming gets controversial. I believe that cloud formation accounts for about 80% of the retained heat on the earth. Humans supposedly account for the other 20% which is supposedly causing the globe to overheat. Did you know that cars give off steam also? Combustion of hydrocarbons (most common fuels) produce water as a byproduct. Hydrogen as a fuel is the exact same principle as gas or diesel without any impurities (and it is a little harder to handle because the particle size is so small). Bill

jackray
jackray

Well, I guess if the all knowing Wikipoedia says that water vapor is a greenhouse gas, then I stand corrected as to my earlier post. However, the post to which I was replying is still the most idiotic thing I've ever heard. Also, I'm not sure I agree that it is a greenhouse gas. I suppose in that regard then, that ALLLLLL clouds are greenhouse gas since they are made up of either water vapor and water or ice (water), which I never heard was a gas in any of my science classes. Water is a liquid, a fluid and if heated sufficiently, becomes steam, which is a gas, right? Who knows? Who Cares. Let's definitely use that as an excuse NOT to develop hydrogen as an alternative to fossil fuels. Sounds pretty stupid, huh. Well, that's surely enough on the subject of gas.

Spectre65
Spectre65

We were even taught this in High School. At least I was, anyway. Water vapor helps insulate and radiate heat back to the earth, helping to keep it warm. We do need the Greenhouse Effect, or it would be a n endless Ice Age. The Greenhouse Effect is totally necessary. Now don't get me wrong, and think that I mean that man hasn't had a profound effect on the Greenhouse Effect, because we have. But Water Vapor isn't the worry here. Our planet is 2/3, more or less, water. We can't stop that, and Hydrogen powered cars and water vapor display screens are NOT going to bury the planet. The gases to worry about are Carbon Monoxide and CO2. Where did some of these people go to school? Mars?

pinroot
pinroot

I'm not an expert either, but the internet is such a wonderful tool. You can find the answer to something like this in seconds. Google "greenhouse gases". Here's an interesting article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_gas The first paragraph lists the most important greenhouse gases in the order of most abundant to least abundant. Guess what number one is? Water vapor.

brianv
brianv

You might want to cite better sources... neither of these are exactly authoritative. Ecoenquirer.com is basically a parody web site, and the second is an article in "21st Century Science and Technology," a highly political, extremeist, conspiracy-theoristic publication.

pinroot
pinroot

You're right, most abundant doesn't necessarily mean most effective. However, in this case, you're also wrong: Water vapor is the most effective greenhouse gas. This link says it accounts for about 90% of global warming. http://www.ecoenquirer.com/EPA-water-vapor.htm This link (http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/Reference_Docs/sci_and_techn-glacial_expansion_03-04.pdf) references a paper that states that water vapor accounts for 96% - 99% of the "greenhouse effect", while CO2 only accounts for about 3%. And you'll notice that in neither case did I reference the "quantum encyclopedia." :)

panthyr
panthyr

One, the quantum encyclopedia is not a real good primary source. Two, what that says there is that there is more water vapor in the atmosphere than any other greenhouse gas, NOT that water vapor has the greatest heat-trapping potential. If you have a mixture of 5% acetone and 95% water, which component of that mixture has the greatest effect on nail polish? Does adding more water have the same effect as adding more acetone?

pinroot
pinroot

From wikipedia:Greenhouse gases are components of the atmosphere that contribute to the greenhouse effect. Without the greenhouse effect the Earth would be uninhabitable;[1] in its absence, the mean temperature of the earth would be about -19 ?C (-2 ?F, 254 K) rather than the present mean temperature of about 15 ?C (59 ?F, 288 K)[2]. Greenhouse gases include in the order of relative abundance WATER VAPOR [emphasis mine- mep], carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone. The majority of greenhouse gases come mostly from natural sources but are also contributed to by human activity. Here's the link to the whole article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_gas Whether or not you believe in manmade global warming (I don't) water vapor remains the number one greenhouse gas.

tim
tim

It's not water anyway....

mf001
mf001

Was that steam, water vapour or hot air?

Bob.Kerns
Bob.Kerns

Even my 7-year-old knows that when water vaporizes, it becomes a gas! Now, if you want to be really, really picky, you could pick a definition of "vapor" such that you're referring to the tiny droplets of liquid water suspended in the air -- e.g. "cloud", "fog", or "steam". But these eVAPORate to the gaseous state, too, so we're still talking about putting water into the air as a gas. As for water being a greenhouse gas -- well, putting aside the obvious fact that the guy who posted that had his tongue firmly planted in his cheek... water IS a greenhouse gas, more or less. It DOES cause heat to be retained, much more than the number two greenhouse gas, CO2. So going by this, water is indeed, the number one greenhouse gas. (You can look this up any number of places!) On the other hand, since atmospheric water is dynamically exchanged with surface and subsurface water (e.g. rain, evaporation), it's not what drives climate change. Rather, climate change drives changes in atmospheric water. So it would be reasonable to not consider it a greenhouse gas, if you're looking at it from an incremental basis, for contributors to climate change. But it's still critically important, since it MAGNIFIES the effects of changes in other greenhouse gases (or other sources of climate change). Anyway, it drives me nuts when people attack people for ignorance without a hint of a clue themselves.... So I just had to let off a little steam!

jackray
jackray

Carbon dioxide is the number one greenhouse gas, not water vapor. Water vapor is not a gas. It's water, duh.