The idea of projecting and seeing a 3D holographic image - without horrible 3D goggles - just got a whole lot closer to reality thanks to researchers at the University of Arizona.

The University of Arizona team, led by optical sciences professor Nasser Peyghambarian, uses a holographic stereographic technique and a photorefractive polymer material to record the images. A 50 Hz nanosecond pulsed laser writes the images.

It's seen as being useful in surgeries and battlefield planning as well as video conferencing. And the implications for videogames are pretty freaking awesome. Plus, maybe now Obi Wan Kenobi can finally see that message from Princess Leia hidden in that old R2 unit.

Follow John Moe at @johnmoe