Microsoft teases transparent 3D desktop interface

Innovation, it seems, is alive and well at Microsoft. In the last few hours, we’ve taken a look at two projects from Microsoft Research – make sure you check out both Illumishare and the Holoflector; now, Microsoft’s Applied Sciences Group has shared a video of another project that combines Kinect technology with a transparent OLED screen, to create a transparent 3D desktop interface.

As you can see in the video above, the unique form factor of the test device enables the transparent OLED to act as a ‘window’ through which you can see your hands, and use them to manipulate virtual elements that appear on the display. As a result, the interface appears to have ‘real’ depth, with your hands being able to virtually interact on three axes with components visible through the display.

While the demo is clearly fairly limited in its scope, it’s not difficult to imagine how it might be developed into more sophisticated applications, such as engineering and industrial design, complex archiving, or even virtual training scenarios.

You can find out more about the Applied Sciences Group, and the projects that they’re working at Microsoft.com.

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32 Comments

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At first I was like Whoa! this is the future! Then I saw the video and saw how uncomfortable the keyboard placement was, and how washed out the colors were and was like, this is never going to become common in it's current form.

Very cool stuff, especially considering that it's still in the research phase. I've always liked the idea of natural interaction with devices (like Kinnect), and translucent displays are just sexy. Not sure how much strain this type of setup would be on tired old eyes like mine though.

There really seems nothing practical about their implementation.

Even Microsoft loves the Apple keyboards!

It's a great idea, but the implementation sucks. This needs to integrate with some form of head mounted display not a desk mounted monitor.

I wonder if the guys who originally worked on and developed the Kinect device had any idea what they were giving to the world?

*few days later, apple patents transparent 3d desktop and 3d UI on any form of electronic devices not limited to desktop, tablet, laptops, mobile phone*

baka.neko said,
*few days later, apple patents transparent 3d desktop and 3d UI on any form of electronic devices not limited to desktop, tablet, laptops, mobile phone*

nah more like "A method to interact with objects in virtual or real three dimensional space" aka life

looks frigging awesome although the only downside to it is that although the display is transparent you might still need some decent keyboard skills to not hit the wrong keys. just needs depth sensor on the front and that problem is overcome. Guess kinect was a basis or was project spawned from this technology

French is my mother language, but I really have a hard time understanding English with a huge French accent...

Aethec said,
French is my mother language, but I really have a hard time understanding English with a huge French accent...
I like the way she pronounces her last name. Like its some exquisite french cuisine.

gzAsher said,
I like the way she pronounces her last name. Like its some exquisite french cuisine.

It's like they always say... any word spoken in a French accent is supposed to sound sexier

Authentic X said,
its not meant as a racist comment

I can't even understand how your comment could have been seen as racist!

It's not a problem of lacking innovation. MS Research does some amazing things, the problem is that the suits never approve any of it to the market.

helios01 said,
It's not a problem of lacking innovation. MS Research does some amazing things, the problem is that the suits never approve any of it to the market.

ehm: LINQ, TouchMouse, Surface,...

You'll find a lot of the stuff does. It might not be in the exact same way that MS Research designed it, but the stuff they learn from it is often used in other MS products.

helios01 said,
It's not a problem of lacking innovation. MS Research does some amazing things, the problem is that the suits never approve any of it to the market.

Slight correction... It doesn't make it to market as a Microsoft product.

A lot of Microsoft work does make it into the technology industry, most people never realize where it came from.

Microsoft Research it is about the 'sharing' of concept and ideas, not a closed science lab that keeps secrets only for Microsoft to use or build products. (Just visit the web site or view any of the demos and presentations, they are about adding ideas to the world for discussion and further work.)

Even the more 'closed' portions of Microsoft Research like the hardware and engineering teams result in design references that are freely shared with the industry. (Virtually every aspect of computing architecture and hardware: GPU, CPU, SoC, DsP, I/O, Bus, Memory, Flash & SDD, and on and on are based, use or are influenced by Microsoft engineering designs.)

_____________________
The next time someone screams or trolls how much they hate Microsoft, they should stop first to kiss their Linux desktop, Mac, iPhone, Android, etc and appreciate that it would not exist as it does without Microsoft technology in use inside it. (Hardware and Software)

_____________________
So sure we don't see these become products from Microsoft, but aspects of them appears in products around the world when they become cost effective and needed.

(Even outside Microsoft Research, they work with and directly fund groups in most of the learning institutions around the world that go on to create some of the biggest breakthroughs in our generation. From areas in MIT Robotics to even things like E-Ink, Microsoft has played significant roles in a lot of advancements.)

Edited by thenetavenger, Feb 28 2012, 8:11am :

ignoring the racist comment above. This is good stuff. It would make for a horrible desktop experience but the advances in research and technology are great.

capr said,
ignoring the racist comment above. This is good stuff. It would make for a horrible desktop experience but the advances in research and technology are great.

I think you need to go lookup the term pie eyed and come to the realisation it's not racial...fool

capr said,
ignoring the racist comment above. This is good stuff. It would make for a horrible desktop experience but the advances in research and technology are great.

I think it is you who is the closet racist, immediately jumping to the conclusion that an eye-based comment was racist coz one of dem iz AZN and tehyz all got funny eyez, innit

Authentic X said,
they look like pie eyed pot heads hehehe

Dude, you may like to think you're being funny, but other than the fact they're struggling a little with English language, and pronunciation, how on earth are they looking pie eyed? It did come across a little racist. Not saying you are racist, but I can understand why capr below thought so.

Spirit Dave said,

Dude, you may like to think you're being funny, but other than the fact they're struggling a little with English language, and pronunciation, how on earth are they looking pie eyed? It did come across a little racist. Not saying you are racist, but I can understand why capr below thought so.

How in the heck is saying someone is a pot head racist? LMFAO You didn't like my comment, you are racist.

firey said,

How in the heck is saying someone is a pot head racist? LMFAO You didn't like my comment, you are racist.

Then how can you make the assumption that they look high other than from their eyes? It's not like they're talking funny.