updated 11:25 am EST, Mon January 24, 2011
Kinect used for 15FPS holographic Internet video
Microsoft's Kinect has seen another unofficial use this weekend through a new experiment from MIT's Media Lab. A prototype shown at the SPIE Practical Holography conference uses the Xbox 360 camera controller and a standard notebook PC to capture and send video. At the other end, the information is interpreted by a desktop on the other end using three graphics cards to calculate the diffraction patterns and send the video to a relatively new, custom-developed holographic display.
The system is an improvement in not only pushing one of the highest resolution holographic video formats but being much faster. An experimental University of Arizona system from before used 16 separate cameras and could only send two frames per second. MIT's Kinect system uses only two cameras but can deliver semi-fluid video at 15 frames per second and should ideally get up to 24 or 30 frames per second, or fast enough for practical use.
Doubts had existed that the system would work with normal computer hardware since it has to generate 1.5GB per second and stream it over the network.
It's unclear when or if the system could have a practical implementation, although Microsoft has promised Kinect support for PCs. MIT grad student Edwina Portocarrero reportedly demoed the technology by recreating Princess Leia's "help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi" speech from Star Wars in real-time. [via PhysOrg]