Yesterday Microsoft Research hosted its TechFest. While Charles and I walked around we saw lots of cool stuff, including a "computing table" demonstration. We'll work with Kevin to get a more in-depth video demonstration of this table (and some of the
other cool stuff that was shown off at the TechFest) but the
Seattle PI put up some video and a report that you might like.
You have to see this table to appreciate what it's doing. It has a projector, projecting an image on the table. Along with several cameras. The cameras triangulate in on the surface of the desk. Software makes the surface magical.
First of all, it can sense when you're touching the desk. Again, the cameras are triangulating in on that. So, you can draw on it.
It can also sense objects placed on the desk. Put a white piece of paper on the desk and a video starts to play -- on the paper.
Move the paper. The video follows.
Twist the paper. The video follows.
Put an object down (a film canister, for instance). On the object is a little optical code that the camera can see.
Poof, out comes a photo. Now, spin the canister. The photo spins too.
Really interesting how user interaction with computers will change when we get two or more cameras.
If I'm not mistaken... this is the same technology featured in the Microsoft Home of the Future (I think thats what it's called). There was a video demonstrating all the technology in the home, and one of the demonstrations was this technology projecting
a list of food items on the kitchen counter top. Voice recognition built into the home allowed the user to select which recipe to view from the list projected on the counter top, which would display all the ingredients and steps for the recipe.
How is that house coming along? I believe the video is a couple years old, is it not? Perhaps an update is due so that we can see all of the latest developments that Microsoft Research has come up with!
Edit: I made it seem like this is old news, which was not my intent. The version in the Microsoft Home that I was speaking of did not have camera triangulation, and therefore could not do all the neat video stuff that this version of the technology can do.
Tyler: ahh ,this was far more advanced than the projection system used in the home of the future.
We have a lot of research stuff coming. Next week we have a really killer interview with Gordon Bell and Jim Gemmell coming up.
Eager to watch some more videos about the TechFest.
Definitely want to see more about this desk. How freaking cool is that?! And, of course, any other cools demos that were there.
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