If Microsoft Research has anything to say about it, a virtual, interactive meeting place may be coming to a desktop near you sooner than later. The MirageTable makes the magic happen by utilizing a top mounted 3-D projector to present the visuals on a curved display area, and a Kinect (who didn't see that coming?) to track the user's gaze and movement. By using both of these the correct perspective is presented to the user.
The really interesting aspect is that both ends of the conversation can manipulate virtual 3D objects in real time, making it possible to collaborate with designs in a way that has been only science fiction to date. And when you have nobody to talk to, you can still use the system to work on your virtual projects solo. So maybe that colloborative VR Lego Death Star build is just around the corner… Check out the video below for more information on this fascinating but (IMHO) inevitable technology.
Kinect is a motion sensing input device by Microsoft for the Xbox 360 video game console and Windows PCs. Based around a webcam-style add-on peripheral for the Xbox 360 console, it enables users to control and interact with the Xbox 360 without the need to touch a game controller, through a natural user interface using gestures and spoken commands.