Thinking Tech

Unreal! Holographic objects you can pick up, play with [video]

Unreal! Holographic objects you can pick up, play with [video]

Posting in Technology

Microsoft's HoloDesk lets users interact with imaginary objects in ways similar to Stark Trek's Holodeck.

In yet another sign that are lives are about to become increasingly gamified, Microsoft has recently demonstrated an interactive technology that enables users to seamlessly play with virtual objects.

OK, so it's not quite like the impeccable knock-offs found in Stark Trek's Holodeck. And yeah, it's pretty obvious the user is playing with imaginary object projected onto three dimensional space. But the objects generated by the HoloDesk features a simulated responsiveness that so closely mimics the actual physics of mass and motion that you might even have more fun playing with holographic toys as opposed to real ones.

The system combines webcam and Kinect technology to track and react accordingly to the user’s facial and bodily movements. To achieve this, the system relies on beam splitters to pinpoint depth and customized graphics algorithms to match the signals.

Besides producing fun demonstrations, Microsoft thinks the system can enhance emerging technologies such as telepresence and product modeling. And of course, gamers would love a full-on holographic adventure.

The HoloDesk is still in the research and development phase so it'll continue to look this way for a while. But who knows. By the time we're ready to trek across the galaxy at warp speed, it wouldn't be stretch to believe it'll be perfected by then.

(via Engadget)

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Tuan Nguyen

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Tuan C. Nguyen is a freelance science journalist based in New York City. He has written for the U.S. News and World Report, Fox News, MSNBC, ABC News, AOL, Yahoo! News and LiveScience. Formerly, he was reporter and producer for the technology section of He holds degrees from the University of California Los Angeles and the City University of New York's Graduate School of Journalism. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure