Japanese projector developers are set to showcase new technology that makes 3D images viewable without the need for cumbersome glasses.

Researchers at Keio University are preparing to unveil the projector to the public at the Digital Content Expo 2010 being held in Tokyo later this week.

Lead developmer, Professor Susumu Tachi, said the technology uses special reflecting equipment to project an image from 42 different viewpoints simultaneously, creating a floating 3D image in the middle of a case about 50 centimetres square in size.

Furthermore, by using a camera to track the position of the viewer's finger, which has a belt strapped onto it that expands and shrinks as appropriate, the development will give viewers a feeling that they are touching and moving the objects. In an advance press demonstration on Monday, an image of a girl cartoon character was projected and moved around by the demonstrator.

Professor Tachi said, "In the future, we will be able to use the technology for such applications as virtual exhibits at museums and shopping catalogues."

The Expo 2010 is being held at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan) and the Tokyo International Exchange Center, and will display the very latest in digital developments coming out of Japan.