While teleconferencing and telepresence robots kinda let people be in two places at once, here's a display that makes matters a bit more palpable.
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Developed by MIT's Tangible Media Group, the inFORM is a dynamic shape-shifting interface that converts 3-D data into real-time physical representations. Think of it as videoconferencing combined with one of those Pinscreen toys you likely played around with at the Sharper Image.
On one end, the system includes a Kinect sensor that scans bodily movements. On the other end, those motions are recreated on a tabletop grid of computer-linked "pixels." Actually, those pixels are 900 motorized polystyrene pins - controlled by actuators underneath the surface - that move up and down, with a range of four inches.
The video below shows how InForm can be used to cradle a ball or flashlight and interact with other physical objects. The video also illustrates how the interface could be used to display charts, 3-D models and various mathematical equations.