DisplAir: Screenless Light Constructs – A Moonshot Project

Maxim Kamanin and his DisplAir screenless display units allow users to manipulate light constructs.

Maxim Kamanin felt that discarded televisions, computer monitors and other devices  generated too much electronic waste. He developed the DisplAir as a way to solve the problem of excess waste by taking the screens out of the equation.

The DisplAir unit is about the size of a home printer, and projects a screen onto water particles produced by cavitation. The 60×45 centimeter display is clear enough for reading text messages. The units use about one liter of water per hour with a water tank large enough to operate the screens for eight hours.


DisplAir uses technology that was previously available to break into new applications. This feels like the bridge between 1980s laser light smoke shows, a holographic Princess Leia requesting help from Obi Wan Kenobi, and Iron Man’s screen manipulation.

Kamanin said that his inspiration struck when working as a network engineer assembling motherboards. He felt the work was dull and while dreaming of future tech started to fixate on a floating screen. While in church one day he noticed that a candle created a diffluent ethereal zone above the flame, and decided that some mix of heat, moisture and air would be the perfect substitute for a screen.

Possibilities for this technology are incredible. In this Solve for X Focus Forward video Maxim’s example is a surgeon. During surgery a surgeon can gesture in the air and manipulate virtual schematics of the body or display and manipulate images from inside the patient – all without contaminating the surgeon’s hands.

Education, product design, robotics and photonics can all benefit from additional floating screens for a variety of applications. Kamanin has won several awards, found many sources of funding, and met the President of the Russian Federation as a result of his ideas and skills.

Most revenue from the DisplAir units currently comes from renting the machines out as marketing tools, but the company’s website also sells the units. Airlike is the app that’s been developed to allow users to capture and share data from the screen with a smart phone.