Beam me up: Kinect powers 3-D human holograms!

Just as the older members of my family are finally getting used to Skype(s msft) and FaceTime(s aapl), along comes a 3-D hologram concept project! Dubbed the TeleHuman and developed by the Human Research Lab at Queens University in Ontario, the system uses six Microsoft(s msft) Kinect sensors and a 3-D projector inside a 1.8 meter tall acrylic cylinder.

The end result? You can walk around a real-time visual representation of the person at the other end of the conversation. Watch the video demo that I found through the Digital Trends site:


The technology isn’t limited to video conferencing though. By applying the technology to a different application, the Human Research Lab has also shown off the BodiPod; a 3-D visualization of the human body. Viewers can walk around the body and even have different body layers appear based on how close they’re standing to the BodiPod.

The camera resolution in Microsoft’s Kinect isn’t stellar — just 640 x 480 for both the RGB and infrared sensors — so video imaging isn’t the highest quality. Still, the concept is sound and as improved sensors at lower costs appear, we could see vastly better pictures from a future Kinect or other similar sensors. We’re not yet at the point of using 3-D holograms in everyday communications, but as this concept shows, the future isn’t that far off.