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New Kinect Desk Lets You Interact With Virtual Objects

| 27 Oct 2011 18:26

A Microsoft development team has finally created the HoloDeck HoloDesk.

One of the biggest restraints of motion controls, gaming cameras, and augmented reality is that you have to enter another world to play with its contents. While it may be fun watching a video of ourselves karate chopping mini ninjas on the living room television, we're doing nothing more than kung-fuing the poor oxygen atoms surrounding us. It's high time we were able to pull that world out into our own, and kill mini ninjas on our terms. Thankfully, Microsoft is now one step closer to delivering on that dream.

The company's new HoloDesk is able to let its user interact with three-dimensional virtual objects, pushing, pulling, lifting, and flicking them around as if they were actually in front of you. Of course, the objects are massless, weightless ghosts of their real world counterparts, but come on people, we're talking holograms here.

The system is pretty simple, in so much as there's no quantum entanglement or voodoo devilry going on in one of the desk's bottom drawers. Basically, an overheard projector fires image data downward into your play zone, and a pane of half-silvered glass reflects it back at your peepers. All the while, a Kinect is tracking your physical movements with a webcam back-up aimed at your face, determining your positional data in real-time and filtering it through a custom algorithm to dictate reactions from the virtual object in response. See? Simple. Now you can go build one for yourself in the garage.

It seems like every time I turn around, someone has done something awesome with Microsoft's Kinect. And here I was thinking it was supposed to be used for gaming...

Source: Kurzweil A.I.

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