IMUZAK: The future of interactive 3D communication @ CES 2022 - Show Notes

IMUZAK: The future of interactive 3D communication @ CES 2022

Wednesday Jan 26, 2022 (00:09:30)


Over the past few years, we have all become more aware of the common items that we touch every day. Whether it's the buttons on an elevator, the handle on a public toilet, or even the kiosk at your favorite fast food joint, we touch a lot of things that everyone else and their children have touched. And you absolutely know that those elevator buttons haven't been cleaned. How can we solve this issue? IMUZAK has got the solution.

What is IMUZAK?

IMUZAK is a technology company based in Japan that has created a fascinating new technology. It's designed to allow you to interact with technology without having to physically touch screens and buttons. Instead, it uses microlenses to project holograms into the air. While we have seen holographic projectors in the past, IMUZAK separates itself from those products by making them touchable.

The company uses microlens technology to project the images into the air. These lenses are designed to be small, so that they can be placed in tighter areas, such as in cars. It allows for the projection to be placed close to the user without the image being miniaturized because of forced perspective.

How can IMUZAK be used?

Take, for example, our elevator example. Rather than having a panel of physical buttons, the IMUZAK technology would create a panel of virtual buttons. The buttons would float above the physical panel, each presenting with the floor number, emergency call button, etc. Pressing the button in the air will be able to trigger the command attached to the action.

Another usage that is currently in place is controls for the bathroom. You could flush a toilet, turn on a sink, even control the lights, all without touching a single physical button.

Another great usage of this technology has nothing to do with cleanliness. Imagine these virtual buttons around the steering wheel of a car. As it stands now, we have physical buttons on the wheel, each doing a specific thing. Whether or not you're receiving a phone call, there is always an answer button on the wheel, and it is always on the same part of the wheel, no matter what position it is in. With this holographic technology, an answer call button could appear at the top of the wheel only when you are getting a call. This would eliminate accidental activation while driving, while giving you easy access when you need it.

IMUZAK can also be used for non-touch purposes in the car. A perfect pairing of the holograms and a car would be a heads-up display, helping to display instrument panels and driving instructions. You could see the map from your GPS and even instructions on when and where to turn, all on your windshield.


IMUZAK is in active development with various usages planned. If you are a hardware developer looking for a unique way to control your devices, head over to the company's website for more information or to contact them.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events.

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Allante Sparks

Special Correspondent

Allante - also well known as Wolff - is the newest member and co-host for PLuGHiTz Live! Radio. A gifted artist, he is usually found drawing up a character or two or sketching up whatever comes to mind. Do not think that he is not a hardcore gamer because he is about as hardcore as it gets! His favorites range from fighting games to RPGs, adventure and even a racing game here and there. Fighting games are his forte and he relays this message for all who oppose: You mess with the Wolff and you get the fangs!

Xbox Live - Enigmatic Wolff

PSN - Tsukuyomi_Okami

Scott Ertz

Episode Author

Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLUGHITZ Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the rhythm game community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bay Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and helping with ROBOTICON Tampa Bay. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors, currently housed at AMRoC Fab Lab.


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Erin Hurst (0:07)

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Kazumi Sawamura (0:21)

Okay, hi. Very nice to meet you.

Allante Sparks (0:23)

Excellent. So if you could go ahead and introduce yourself and tell me a little bit about your company.

Kazumi Sawamura (0:30)

Okay. We are a Japanese startup company called Imuzak, Inc. We have established in 2015 and we are a very new company, we are manufacturing and selling the microlens that generates 3D mid-air floating images that you can touch and in the combination with the sensor, you are able to touch this air floating images.

Allante Sparks (1:04)

What are you here to show us today?

Kazumi Sawamura (1:09)

Yes, we'd like to show you the 3D air floating steering wheel system. Let me show you. Let me share the image of this product. There it is. Can you see the 3D air floating steering wheel system? Can you?

Allante Sparks (1:28)


Kazumi Sawamura (1:28)

Okay, great. That's right. We are making the microlens and using our microlens then any image can pop up and become 3D or floating images. Just simply by placing microlens in front of the source image can create 3D air floating images.

Allante Sparks (1:58)

Okay, that's interesting. Are you able to interact with these free-floating 3d images?

Kazumi Sawamura (2:05)

Right, you can touch and move.

Allante Sparks (2:08)

Oh, That's amazing.

Kazumi Sawamura (2:10)

Source image can be anything. So just like let's say toilet button and elevator button that you don't want to directly touch just using this microlens. It can make it float.

Allante Sparks (2:21)

Interesting. Okay, that's amazing.

Kazumi Sawamura (2:25)

Thank you.

Allante Sparks (2:26)

Now, what you said is that you can not only touch them, but you can also move them to different locations. How do you go about doing all of this?

Kazumi Sawamura (2:34)

That's right. One more thing is that the sensor is necessary So with the combination with the sensor and microlens then you are able to touch actually and move.

Allante Sparks (2:47)

Okay, now, are there any, like special gestures or anything that you need to do to get these different commands, so to speak? Like you need to pinch to drag or you know, like something like that?

Kazumi Sawamura (3:01)

Yeah, push and slide and you can move. You don't really pinch but just air-floating things you can press and move like this.

Allante Sparks (3:12)

Okay? Is that that the gestures are limited to is mostly press and slide?

Kazumi Sawamura (3:18)

Right, and hopefully in the future, we will try to pinch but right now you can slide and push. So it's like a button and, anything can float. So this demonstration device, this warning, and telephone call and maintenance notice can float, can pop up from the steering wheel at this moment.

Allante Sparks (3:41)


Kazumi Sawamura (3:41)

Anything can happen because it depends on the source image.

Allante Sparks (3:46)

Okay. Now, can you interact with, like, let's say more than one of these images at a time? I know that sounds a little silly, but.

Kazumi Sawamura (3:56)

Yeah. Anything because it just placed these microlens in front of the source image so the source image- it can be anything.

Allante Sparks (4:06)


Kazumi Sawamura (4:07)

No matter how many.

Allante Sparks (4:09)

Could you go into detail about how all of this works and the hardware or software that needs to come along with it?

Kazumi Sawamura (4:17)

Actually very simple. It's just a lens. It's a microlens processed by our special patented technology that's nanotechnology. So just using this microlens, just place it in front of the source image, this can float. It pops up. It's a really simple structure.

Allante Sparks (4:38)

That sounds very cool.

Kazumi Sawamura (4:38)

There is a feature of this product, this microlens is very compact. Just placing the lens in front of the source image so you can create a 3D system in tight spaces. And second, is very high resolution and high definition so that the floating image is very clear. And it's clear even under the afternoon sun.

Allante Sparks (5:07)

I understand. Wow!

Kazumi Sawamura (5:09)

And the third very simple structure. So anyone can just assemble together.

Allante Sparks (5:15)

Sure, yeah. No, that sounds absolutely wonderful. It sounds wonderful and like you said, simple. That's the beauty of it.

Kazumi Sawamura (5:28)

Thank you.

Allante Sparks (5:29)

Yeah, absolutely. Now when will we start to see something like this in the market?

Kazumi Sawamura (5:37)

Right. We are trying for automobile in 2025. We are aiming for.

Allante Sparks (5:48)

2025? Excellent. And I imagine there's no like retail price or anything that-

Kazumi Sawamura (5:58)

Everything floating.

Allante Sparks (6:01)

All float. Understood. It sounds fantastic. Again, thank you very much for your patience with this.

Kazumi Sawamura (6:10)

You are welcome.

Allante Sparks (6:10)

And you know, I'm glad that was very easy to digest. I definitely appreciate it. Is there anything else that you want to talk about it while you're here or anything I might have missed?

Kazumi Sawamura (6:24)

No, it's okay. We have other technology such as super hydrophilic technology and anti-reflection technology. But the one we wanted to demonstrate at CES is this one, 3D air floating. We have other 3D air floating toilet button but this is the main thing. That's okay?

Allante Sparks (6:44)

I'm sure everybody would especially now, really like the idea of a floating flush button. Because we all know there are a lot of questionable toilets that we don't want to touch and a lot of people since the since they don't like to touch the toilet some people you know, like use their shoes or something like that to hit a flush but you have disabled people who still need to touch these things in order to flush them and so a floating button, that's wonderful. I think this is fantastic.

Kazumi Sawamura (7:25)

Can I show you, let me quickly show you the floating button pictures. Is that okay? Just one second.

Allante Sparks (7:34)

Yeah, please. It's okay, take your time. I want to see it.

Kazumi Sawamura (7:37)

Can you see the floating toilet button?

Allante Sparks (7:40)

Where is it located?

Kazumi Sawamura (7:43)

Right above. Can you see? This is it's a Japanese toilet. It's an electric toilet and the flush button is on the wall.

Allante Sparks (7:52)

So it is actually mounted on the wall above buttons? Really cool.

Kazumi Sawamura (7:56)

Right. You can see the button is floating?

Allante Sparks (8:01)

I did not expect it to be separate from the toilet but that makes sense. That absolutely makes sense.

Kazumi Sawamura (8:11)

Common Japanese toilet. Electric pilot.

Allante Sparks (8:16)

Yeah. So stylish.

Kazumi Sawamura (8:21)

The toilet in my house is like this too. You push the button on the wall.

Allante Sparks (8:27)

You push the button on the wall. Can we get more of that please? Absolutely. Thank you so much for taking the time to not only talk about your company with showing off these wonderful products.

Kazumi Sawamura (8:40)

You are welcome.

Allante Sparks (8:40)

We love to see it and no problem and I hope you enjoy the rest of your show. You have a wonderful day.

Kazumi Sawamura (8:47)

Thank you very much. Bye-bye.

Allante Sparks (8:49)

Absolutely. Bye.

Erin Hurst (8:53)

TPN CES 2022 coverage is executive produced by Michele Mendez. Technical Directors are Kurt Corless and Adam Barker. Associate producers are Nancy Ertz and Maurice McCoy. Interviews are edited by Jo Mini. Hosts are Marlo Anderson, Todd Cochrane, Scott Ertz, Christopher Jordan, Daniele Mendez, and Allante Sparks. Las Vegas studio provided by HC Productions. Remote studio provided by PLUGHITZ Productions. This has been Tech Podcasts Network Production, copyright 2022.

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