Attention Star Wars junkies who've always longed for the day when transmitting holographic messages is as commonplace as a la Princess Leia's "Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope." Your day is nigh.
At a recent tech forum, Microsoft Research unveiled a prototype of an augmented reality application called Holoflector.
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The system includes an LCD panel a few feet behind a large, translucent mirror equipped with a motion-detecting Kinect camera on top. This setup allows for computer graphics to be displayed on and around people and objects that are reflected in the mirror. For the most part, graphics are displayed in real time, however, there's a slight delay.
Check out Andy Wilson, principal researcher on the project, as he explains how the Holoflector could be used in tandem with sensors in a Windows Phone to display Leia-like messages in the palm of your hand.
"We've seen a lot of examples of augmented reality where you're looking at a phone and you're seeing graphics superimposed onto a video feed," he said in a promo video. "This is much more about rendering graphics onto the real world, or the reflection of the real world. It's also a study of how we can use mobile phones in a complementary way with Kinect."