Gee-whiz things can emerge from Microsoft Research.
The latest making the rounds of the tech press: the HoloDesk, a research project out of Microsoft Research Cambridge.
Steve Clayton, who writes about such research for Next at Microsoft says “I won’t attempt to describe what it does in great detail, except to say that with Holodesk you can manipulate 3-D, virtual images with your hands. Whilst this is only a research project at this stage, I can envisage future applications in areas such as board gaming, rapid prototype design or perhaps even telepresence, where users would share a single 3D scene viewed from different perspectives. I know it sounds very Star Trek but this is not science fiction.”
Here’s a video of HoloDesk:
[do action=”custom_iframe” width=”640″ height=”360″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/JHL5tJ9ja_w
Clayton also highlights other Microsoft research projects looking at natural user interface:
- OmniTouch, which allows everyday surfaces — including one’s palms — to be turned into multitouch input devices like touchscreens and mouses (mice?).
- PocketTouch focuses on creating sensors allow people to interact with devices through fabric, like, conceivably, listening to a voice mail message on your smartphone without having to remove it from your pocket.