ZeroN has many potential uses
ZeroN could be used to help solve physics problems
ZeroN can play the part of a virtual sun, causing objects to cast virtual shadows
ZeroN can move through the air on its own, following a prerecorded path
The experimental ZeroN system will hold a magnetic ball in mid-air, wherever the user has left it
People who saw the 1984 film 2010: The Year We Make Contact might remember a scene in which Roy Scheider, while describing the orientation of the spaceship that he’s aboard, picks up a pen and places it in mid-air in front of himself. While that effect was actually accomplished using a sticky-sided pen and a very clear plate of glass, the same sort of thing is now actually possible – if you’re in the right place, and positioning the right object. The place is MIT’s Media Lab, and the object is a small plastic-coated spherical magnet called ZeroN. Users can physically place it anywhere within a specified three-dimensional block of “anti-gravity space,” then watch as it stays in place when they let it go. It can also move through the air on its own, and even function as a virtual movie camera.
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