There are few things in life that scream ‘from the future’ like holograms, especially interactive holograms. That’s what Microsoft Research is showing off in this video of their HoloDesk project. At the core is a Kinect and a some head tracking software working in conjunction with a see-through display. It allows users to pick up and manipulate 3D objects, including a virtualized smartphone interface, as well as collaborate remotely.
As if that weren’t enough, MSR this week published several research papers at the User Interface Software and Technology Conference. All of the papers relate to some aspect of NUI. For example there’s a project called OmniTouch that uses a pico projector and 3-D camera to turn virtually any surface into a multi-touch interface. Eventually, Omni Touch could be designed to be no larger than a pendant or a watch.
Another example is PocketTouch, which is focused on creating multi-touch sensors that will allow you to interact with a smart phone or other device through the fabric of your shirt pocket or jeans. Conceivably, you could pause a song or listen to voice mail without fishing out your phone. Both of these projects are part of a larger effort by MSR to look at more unconventional uses of touch interface, so we don’t sit back and settle for the status quo. [from TechNet]