Microsoft shows off the future, Augmented Projectors [video]

By Tom Warren, on 1st Nov 11 1:20 pm with 29 Comments

Microsoft’s latest Research project involves projectors, augmented ones.

The software giant has been showing off its future projects over the past couple of weeks, creating a buzz around what the future might look like in the next five years. Microsoft’s Next blogger, Steve Clayton, revealed the latest work on Tuesday, augmented projectors. Microsoft’s augmented projectors work demonstrates how projectors may understand the environment they’re placed in, in the future. The augmented projectors could be used in a variety of ways. Microsoft demonstrates ways of interacting with projected content and also copying real life content to represent it in a projected form elsewhere in the room.

The Augmented Projector could be used in future online shopping experiences. Clayton points out that online shoppers could project potential products onto their walls or inside their rooms to see how beds, desks and other objects might fix into a real world setting. Microsoft’s Augmented Projectors work is the latest in a series of Research projects. Microsoft revealed its HoloDesk project recently. HoloDesk lets users manipulate 3D virtual images with their hands. The software giant also revealed its “OmniTouch” technology last month alongside “PocketTouch“. OmniTouch is a research project designed to turn any surface into a touch screen. The project makes use of a Kinect style camera to project output and capture input. Microsoft’s PocketTouch work involves a custom sensor to allow users to control smartphones through clothing.

Microsoft’s Research work forms part of the company’s recently released vision of the future video. Microsoft’s future vision is designed to show what the world might look like in the next five to 10 years. The latest video builds on Microsoft’s previous concepts of touch based computing anywhere and everywhere. The video opens with a business woman visiting Johannesburg and having the audio around her translated in real time thanks to some futuristic glasses. Other scenes in the video feature highly personalized experiences and touch computing on every surface. Microsoft previously created an “Office 2019” video which also features the same opaque smartphones and touch walls.

  • Ekliptstudios

    So basically your copying Apples prototype for the projector… Copying Apple… AGAIN… Imagine that.

    • Kee


    • Kee

      this, at least, is working prototype

    • Anonymous

      Could you provide a link to your proof?

    • Stark

      Go back to your cave, troll. Apple have patented their idea, that doesn’t mean anything. MS have shown us a working prototype. Apple? *cricket sound*

    • Anonymous

      we all know you are a troll but could you show me Apples prototype because i have noticed all Apple provides are written patents with no prototypes. But anyone that has any logical sense of knowledge knows Apple just tends to patent anything they want even if it was invented already.

    • Monkey D Black

      say what? i guess you havint seen any of patents sealing with 3d space. well:

      it only takes kinect to navigate such a Microsoft is getting all their ducks in order. they have the device that is capable and they have the patents along with the UI concept.

  • Anonymous

    This would be interesting of they could build the hand held projector into a set of goggles.  The user could then see the interaction without the interference of the hands.

    • Anonymous

      This exact scenario seems to be an implied story line in the new Microsoft Office Productivity video from last week.  Check out the part where she wears the glasses to see augmented reality and then the part where she draws on top of her phone and it interprets the gesture.

  • Sriram Sarma

    If only SteveJ was here! Among other things, he’d then demo this in the next MacWorld and claim it as his own.

  • Stark

    Microsoft is going to announce a holodeck one of these days. And I bet that Bill Gates already has one in his house :)

    • Anonymous

      What happens in the holodeck stays in the holodeck…

    • Stark

      Well in that case… Janeway, Seven, B’Elanna… Striptease, NAO! ^_^

    • Anonymous

      What? No bloodwine?

    • Anonymous

      It is amazing that Microsoft is building our future on every aspect of our lives. This type of technology will bring to life their vision of wall computing. This is great!

    • Anonymous

      Apple will find a way to market first.

    • Owais_503

      now wait steve jobs past away :( so that wont happen.

    • Abiddine

      So, are you agreeing that Apple always steals technology from Microsoft and Microsoft is the innovator. Hahaha, got you there, troll!

    • Anonymous

      No what I’m saying is Microsoft is a sucker for revealing their technology in a raw state. Apple never ever shows these kind of prototypes. They work on everything in super secret and then *BAM* unveil a world-beating finished product. That’s why Microsoft continues to fail.

  • Wizard

    all these apple fanboys have lost their mental balance, the day is not very far when they would say the actual fruit’s name Apple is copied from Steve Jobs company Apple!!!

  • Skysinof

    Put it on a pair of transparent-oled-hud glasses, put up kinect sensors around town, and give me Dennou Coil.

    Almost there. So close… so close…

    • Anonymous

      Wouldn’t is be something if MS could compress the entire Windows OS/Win Phone into a single pair of light weight HUD enabled glasses that could interact/communicate with objects in the environment?

    • Skysinof

       @sniperboy:disqus , Microsoft should collaborate with city councils to create a network of wireless hubs and servers and kinects.

      These powerful servers will do the processing (augmented reality); HUD glasses (or any other devices) only require a sliver-thin os, and can connect to these servers to access services provided by the city (internet, phone, augmented reality, etc).

    • oolong2

      No kidding…  I don’t know why hud glasses seemed to be all the rage a few years ago and then suddenly died out. 

      The technology combined with some good software would be revolutionary.

    • Anonymous

      In case you didn’t notice in the “Productive Future Vision” video, the taxi cab window was a “smart display” showing localized data to the passenger. Obviously the computer sitting in the dashboard, feeding video out via some sort of LightPeak 2.0 tech to the window display.

    • oolong2

      In case you didn’t notice the “Production Future Vision” is just a *concept* video in a long string of concept videos that we see every single year….

      Secondly huds for car windows is not the same as  huds for eyewear which is what I and the previous poster were referring to.  The point is this technology exists today and has existed for a long time.  The only limitation is the software and a consumer package.

      Huds for car wind shelds have been around since the 80s.

  • Jimmy

    I can see this being used by Walt Disney Imagineering to create a really cool, immersive world to interact within at one of their parks. Super cool stuff!

  • Larry

    This is giving me some great movie ideas.

  • Greg Madison

    I was a finalist in the Microsoft Imagine Cup with this project in 2009, just before the 6th Sense came out. Ironically, it is called the 7th Sense.The concept is very similar to mine!