frank's blog

Wow! Microsoft Builds A Functioning ‘Holodesk’

Posted in film, innovation, pioneers by aldorf on October 20, 2011

It’s a start but – wow – that’s amazing and something the world has been waiting for since 1987. It’s not quite a Holodeck, but it’s tantalizingly close.

The reasearch arm of Microsoft, unlike the rest of the company, spends its days spinning crazed dreams into hacked reality.

Today Microsoft Research released a rather fascinating demonstration of one of its projects, what it calls a ‘holodesk,’ which has the potential to change the way we physically interact with digital items. Sounds trippy? That’s because it is. The user, looking down on a pane of glass, sees items (balls, blocks, whatever) on that screen. With their hands underneath the glass, they can move their appendages and digits and prod those images as if they were directly touching them.

It’s a bridge, essentially, between the physical and the digital. Microsoft dubs the idea at the “research project” stage only, so don’t get your hopes up about getting one for yourself. And of course, it uses a Kinect.

Now, if this is only a research project, why does it matter? Microsoft, as a company, is working on all fronts to build on what it calls ‘natural user interfac[ing].” What this means is that the firm is looking past the keyboard and mouse (blasphemy) and is instead working with touch, voice, and so forth. This is especially important in the tablet world that the company is so desperately behind in.

it’s hard not to wish that more of what Microsoft Research was market-ready. (via thenextweb)

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  1. […] Wow! Microsoft Builds A Functioning ‘Holodesk’ (aldorf.wordpress.com) […]


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