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Microsoft demos LightSpace

Microsoft demos LightSpace

The LightSpace installation allows for full interactivity within the room - true 'spatial computing' - according to its developers.

Microsoft has released a video demo of the next step in its Surface computing project: spatial computing.

Dubbed LightSpace, the technology is demonstrated in a video by Andy Wilson and Hrvoje Benko, both researchers for Microsoft Research - and if you were wowed by Minority Report when it was released, you're going to love the idea.

In the team's words, LightSpace "combines elements of surface computing and augmented reality research to create a highly interactive space where any surface, and even the space between surfaces, is fully interactive."

Using a series of cameras, each focused at a different depth, and a variety of projectors ensconced in a small room, the LightSpace installation allows graphics to be projected onto any surface that is visible to both a camera and a projector.

It's the differing camera depths that enable the magic, though: by using the different views to figure out where a person's hands are, non-interactive surfaces such as a desk or a table can be used interactively as though it was a Microsoft Surface.

Better still, the technology allows for mid-air interactions between displays - allowing a virtual object to be 'picked up' from a table and moved across to the wall, for example. LightSpace is even clever enough to project an object onto your hand, literally allowing you to carry it from place to place in the room.

While the technology is a long way from the Holodeck that every Star Trek fan has been secretly longing for, it's a good step along the way - and while it's purely a proof of concept for now, it's not hard to see LightSpace technology being a future replacement for Microsoft's Kinect controller-free gaming system.

Are you impressed with what Microsoft has achieved with LightSpace, or struggling to see the practical uses beyond showing off the tech at trade shows? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

25 Comments

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Phil Rhodes 5th October 2010, 17:16 Quote
This is all great, and R&D should of course go on, but while they're farting about with this stuff Apple are, well, releasing products.
Bauul 5th October 2010, 17:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
This is all great, and R&D should of course go on, but while they're farting about with this stuff Apple are, well, releasing products.

Microsoft take fancy new tech and turn it into mediocre products. Apple takes mediocre tech and turns it into fancy new products.

Somewhere between the two = Maximum Profit!
TWeaK 5th October 2010, 17:35 Quote
Sounds cool, shame I can't get the link to load :/
mclean007 5th October 2010, 17:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bauul
Somewhere between the two = Maximum Profit!
Mediocre tech in mediocre products? I don't think it's a winner :D
SaNdCrAwLeR 5th October 2010, 17:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
This is all great, and R&D should of course go on, but while they're farting about with this stuff Apple are, well, releasing products.

MS is a major shareholder at Apple, fyi
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bauul

Microsoft take fancy new tech and turn it into mediocre products. Apple takes mediocre tech and turns it into fancy new products.

Somewhere between the two = Maximum Profit!

Apple takes outdated 4 year old tech and creates overpriced crappy products (iMacs, iPods, iPads, the whole lot) if you think a Powerbook is fancy see the HP Envy Line, same aluminum unibody... latest hardware... ends up costing you less 2000 euros for the top of the range model... and you get something that's running this-year hardware T_T (and has the same style as the mac)
kingosticks 5th October 2010, 18:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaNdCrAwLeR
if you think a Powerbook is fancy see the HP Envy Line, same aluminum unibody... latest hardware... ends up costing you less 2000 euros for the top of the range model... and you get something that's running this-year hardware T_T (and has the same style as the mac)

I don't think it's fair to compare a 2006 (at best) device to a 2009/2010 device in those terms.
Sheiken 5th October 2010, 18:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaNdCrAwLeR
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
This is all great, and R&D should of course go on, but while they're farting about with this stuff Apple are, well, releasing products.

MS is a major shareholder at Apple, fyi
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bauul

Microsoft take fancy new tech and turn it into mediocre products. Apple takes mediocre tech and turns it into fancy new products.

Somewhere between the two = Maximum Profit!

Apple takes outdated 4 year old tech and creates overpriced crappy products (iMacs, iPods, iPads, the whole lot) if you think a Powerbook is fancy see the HP Envy Line, same aluminum unibody... latest hardware... ends up costing you less 2000 euros for the top of the range model... and you get something that's running this-year hardware T_T (and has the same style as the mac)

I think you need to read up on some things, it is blatantly obvious that you have ABSOLUTELY no clue what you are talking about.
SaNdCrAwLeR 5th October 2010, 18:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kingosticks
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaNdCrAwLeR
if you think a Powerbook is fancy see the HP Envy Line, same aluminum unibody... latest hardware... ends up costing you less 2000 euros for the top of the range model... and you get something that's running this-year hardware T_T (and has the same style as the mac)

I don't think it's fair to compare a 2006 (at best) device to a 2009/2010 device in those terms.

sorry about that, I meant the Macbook Pros... (was put working on a powerbook so the stupid name stayed there)
anyway, am still comparing the new apple macbook pros to the envy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheiken
I think you need to read up on some things, it is blatantly obvious that you have ABSOLUTELY no clue what you are talking about.

on the MS sharehold place in Apple? check up on it, it's public knowledge, about the apple hardware? yes I got the names switched, meant the Macbook Pros...

but to go with that, look at the iPhone 4... 1400€ unlocked, same hardware as a samsung galaxy S (which costs less than half of that unlocked)

even the 3GS is 800€ and is an utter amount of crap for what you get... I buy a 200€ smartphone with the equivalent hardware but with a decent OS...

(note, I've developed for iOS... anyone who has developed for it knows that it's a total headache to work with...)
Boogle 5th October 2010, 19:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bauul
Somewhere between the two = Maximum Profit!

/in Crysis suit voice:

'Maximum Profit'
line2008 5th October 2010, 20:42 Quote
lol thought exactly the same thing when i read maximum profit lmao
Snips 5th October 2010, 22:24 Quote
Why are you going on about Apple? Have they developed this? Are they partners in this developement?

This is actually something that would be useful and a huge step forward. Unfortunately, I can't see how you can wrap a shiny surface around it and charge four times more than what you should be paying for it. So Apple won't be releasing this any time soon. Thank God!
HourBeforeDawn 6th October 2010, 01:13 Quote
Its partially true about MS having shares of Apple but what it actually is, is Bill Gates not his company MS that has the shares and its less then 50%, this way its not considered a monopoly and started in the mid 80s when Apple almost went belly up but at the time MS was making most of Apples software so needed them to stay a float while they expanded on their windows OS in Japan so they bought around a quarter of the company, then they bought more again in the 90s when Apple almost went belly up again. Anyhow all interesting stuff but ya Apple doesnt do anything they just wait to copy/steal others and then make it come off as if it was their own.
general22 6th October 2010, 07:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
This is all great, and R&D should of course go on, but while they're farting about with this stuff Apple are, well, releasing products.

Obvious troll is obvious
Tattysnuc 6th October 2010, 08:24 Quote
It's a step toward the user interface hypothesized in minority report... Are Microsoft waiting for a holographic screen to be developed, ie an application for this technology/patent...?
Molajoku 6th October 2010, 08:55 Quote
"This is all great, and R&D should of course go on, but while they're farting about with this stuff Apple are, well, releasing products."
"Microsoft take fancy new tech and turn it into mediocre products. Apple takes mediocre tech and turns it into fancy new products."

HAHAHAHHA apples new marketing strategy. Troll forums and news articles to spread propaganda.

Apple are a massive wet hanky full of wank.
tozsam 6th October 2010, 10:47 Quote
Going back to microsoft and the actual content of this news. I think the tech seems very cool but I have yet to see any thought about how it would be used day-to-day. Everytime I have seen demos the people are always standing. How would they transfer this to a living room setting where most of your time is spent sitting. Would you want to be hunched over a coffee table all night. Also the remote control was invented so we didn't have to get up from the sofa to change channels, now they expect us to stand and move movies etc around the room.
The upside to this is imagine the scope for schools.
Fizzl 6th October 2010, 11:39 Quote
This looks a lot more fun than kinect/natal.
Phil Rhodes 6th October 2010, 15:27 Quote
Quote:
Troll

I don't understand the criticism.

Microsoft made a lot of noise about their "surface" thing, which looked interesting, but it's barely even a product. Now they're making more fuss about something new - which makes me think, well, what's the point of getting excited, will I ever actually be able to get hold of one of these things and use it? I'm no Apple apologist, I think their stuff is overpriced style over substance, but it's hard to deny that they've got some interesting UI ideas that they've brough to the mass market.
NiHiLiST 6th October 2010, 16:14 Quote
I couldn't watch the video because I needed a plugin, probably Silverlight, but isn't this just a baby step forward from what G-Speak has been doing for about four years?
Blackie Chan 6th October 2010, 21:28 Quote
Who the **** started an apple mac flame war in here? I thought we were better than that.
Saivert 7th October 2010, 07:15 Quote
don't blame the troll. blame the guys falling for it. time and time again.
when you see a troll. don't feed it. ignore it! it is the only way.
Snips 7th October 2010, 09:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
Quote:
Troll

I don't understand the criticism.

Microsoft made a lot of noise about their "surface" thing, which looked interesting, but it's barely even a product. Now they're making more fuss about something new - which makes me think, well, what's the point of getting excited, will I ever actually be able to get hold of one of these things and use it? I'm no Apple apologist, I think their stuff is overpriced style over substance, but it's hard to deny that they've got some interesting UI ideas that they've brough to the mass market.

Do you personally have to get excited about everything Microsoft or any other manufacturer have in developement? Quite sad if you do.
Phil Rhodes 7th October 2010, 15:22 Quote
Depends what you mean by "excited", but that isn't really the point. When are they actually going to productise this stuff?
kenco_uk 7th October 2010, 15:40 Quote
It would have to have much more practicality. It's alright zooming into pictures on a coffee table and interacting with what's stored on your phone but if doesn't do a whole lot more (and doesn't require a collection of ceiling mounted projectors and trackers) then it's got a loooong way to go. What it can do at the moment is impressive, but it really has a long way to come.
schmidtbag 8th October 2010, 02:20 Quote
microsoft surface was overall not that impressive imo. 1 linux developer created something that is far more useful and responsive 3 years before surface's release, and for free. lightspace is a bit more impressive but anyone who is fluent in opencl and has a few cameras can make this, and it probably won't run slow as hell.

what really pisses me off is MS keeps making these flashy products that perform TERRIBLY on presumably very high-end hardware (they're wealthy, why wouldn't they use the latest 6-core xeon for something like this?) and they sell it for a ridiculously high price when its not even a practical product.
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