All those cool 3D holographic interactive user interfaces that people see in sci-fi movies and TV shows are finally getting closer to reality. Microsoft Research recently showed off a new project called Holograph that was made to render large data, not just in 3D, but in a way that it looks like it is being projected above a display.
In a blog post, Holograph's team leader Curtis Wong talks about how the project can help with creating visuals with data that is put inside, for example, Excel. He states:
That enables anybody with any kind of data, like location or time, to easily plot that data onto a map or globe. If you select ‘date,’ and you have date or time information, you’ll be able to watch that data play out over time.
The fun part of putting all of that data in a 3D projection is shown in the blog post's video, which has Wong using a big Perspective Pixel touchscreen display. Wong views a version of the Earth above or below the plane of that display but still manipulate it. The video also shows how data for a city can be rendered in 3D with graphs and charts created in a view of a city to better show how those numbers relate to things in the real world.
The video also has some fun in showing off how Holograph can make the dreams of sci-fi fans come true, such as one scene where an interactive Viper fighter in "Battlestar Galactica" is created in 3D. The final part of the video shows the famous Princess Leia hologram in "Star Wars" ("You're my only hope.') recreated in 3D via Holograph. Perhaps the whole 3D chess game in that same movie could be the next project for Microsoft Research.