February 29, 2012

Interfaces of the future

Microsoft Research are working hard to show that they still have the innovative edge in the computer industry. While Google Labs might get more of the attention thanks to their high profile projects like Wilderness Downtown Microsoft are looking to the future showing how people might interact with each other more naturally. IllumiShare enables remote people to share any physical or digital object on any surface. It is a low-cost, peripheral device that looks like a desk lamp, and just like a lamp lights up a surface at which it is pointed, IllumiShare shares a surface.

Another interesting project is Holoflector which is a unique, interactive augmented-reality mirror. Graphics are superimposed correctly on your own reflection to enable a novel augmented-reality experience. Presented at Microsoft TechForum 2012, Holoflector leverages the combined abilities of Kinect and Windows Phone to infer the position of your phone and render graphics that seem to hover above it.

It will be interesting to see how these projects develop. Will they become the next Kinect success story or be another Microsoft Surface which never really took off as the technology was far too expensive (and didn’t seem to do more then let people shuffle pictures, shrink and resize them).

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