The Future is Here: The Microsoft 3D “Holodesk”!

holodeskHang onto your hats! Of all the future concept videos to be produced by high tech firms of late, this one has the potential of being the most badass! It is known as the Holodesk, a prototype system that allows users to interface with a computer by seemingly manipulating 3D objects with their hands. The result of ongoing research over at the Sensors and Devices group at Microsoft Research Cambridge, the Holodesk is one of several 3-D based concepts that are expected to take to the field in coming years.

According to Microsoft website, the group has “the goal of understanding how advances in technology will impact traditional computing and the ways in which people use and interact with computing devices.” Using technology adapted from their popular and award-winning Kinect gaming system, Microsoft has developed this new device which it believes will fill a niche market in computing.

holodesk1Amongs them are physics students, who will use this system as a possible “playground” to test hypothesis involving subatomic particles and atomic models. It is also believed it will be useful for people who conduct remote collaborative studies from long distances, and to test out 3-D models of various kinds. TechNet blog even had one suggestion on one of its comment boards where a user claimed it could be slowed down so that he or she could learn how to juggle.

Per the MicrosoftResearch Youtube channel, the Holodesk is described as follows:

HoloDesk is a novel interactive system combining an optical see through display and Kinect camera to create the illusion that users are directly interacting with 3D graphics. A virtual image of a 3D scene is rendered through a half silvered mirror and spatially aligned with the real-world for the viewer. Users easily reach into an interaction volume displaying the virtual image. This allows the user to literally get their hands into the virtual display. A novel real-time algorithm for representing hands and other physical objects, which are sensed by the Kinect inside this volume, allows physically realistic interaction between real and virtual 3D objects.”

Check out the video of the Holodesk in action: