updated 01:50 pm EDT, Thu October 20, 2011
Holodesk one of upcoming natural user interfaces
Microsoft Research engineers unveiled a particularly advanced approach to holographic displays on Thursday dubbed Holodesk. Seen as a natural user interface, it allows users to physically manipulate 3D objects with their hands that are visible behind a see-through display. The system uses face tracking to better match the virtual objects to the user's hand based on head and eye position.
The possible uses of the system could include anything from high-end board games to rapid prototype design and remote telepresence, with multiple users viewing a single 3D scene.
Microsoft Research also published other research papers at the User Interface Software and Technology Conference this week. OmniTouch uses a pico projector and 3D camera to transform almost any surface into a multi-touch interface. PocketTouch makes multi-touch sensors in the fabric of a user's shirt or jeans pocket that could let users control a smartphone through a pocket. [via TechNet]