Microsoft working on Star Wars-like holographic tech

When audiences first saw Star Wars in 1977, they were blown away by the 3D hologram visual effect that R2D2 used to project the image of Princess Leia asking Obi-Wan Kenobi for his help. The hologram technology was used in all of the Star Wars movies. Now Microsoft has released a new video showing off one of their projects at Microsoft Research that shows that such a hologram may be closer to being released than first believed.

The technology itself is called Vermeer. It uses the old idea of the mirascope. It uses two parabolic mirrors that are placed facing each other. A hole is cut in the top mirror and a small object is placed on the bottom mirror. The optical illusion is then created that makes the object look like it is floating in space.

Vermeer basically uses the same kind of principle, except that instead of a solid object being placed in the mirrors, it is a light field projector that creates a full 3D image that can be viewed in any angle. The video also shows that people can actually "touch" the holographic image which can then react to being "touched".

So Microsoft has basically created a hologram that doesn't need glass and also doesn't need special glasses to see the effect. We can't wait for Microsoft to create a way to make this work for video conferencing.

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14 Comments

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That video was copyrighted 2007 !! What has happened since ????????
But I tell you what....it is a lot better than that other 3D Bull that was on the other week.
One thing is for sure full 3D holograms are a LONG WAY OFF !!!!

sam232 said,
and they say Microsoft aren't cool or innovative.

Ya, especially with 50% of the computer everyone is using to say these things are hardware engineer designs from Microsoft that they have given away over the years.

GPU design, CPU concepts, PCIe extensions, and on and on...

Even Android and iOS are running on hardware that Microsoft's hardware engineers had a significant role in creating over the past 15 years. (Think the old BASF commercials, we don't sell blank, but we created the technology for blank to work and work better.)

neufuse said,
done 5yrs ago by IO2 tech

Microsoft wasn't claiming to have invented it or anything. Besides, this is a different way of doing it.

I can see Apple pushing the hell out of this in 10 years time much like touchscreens, tablets, etc.

Davo said,
I can see Apple pushing the hell out of this in 10 years time much like touchscreens, tablets, etc.

Wrong, the days that Apple continues to beat Microsoft to market with super-cool tech is over.

It's an optical illusion, I'm guessing the camera just isn't showing it well enough as it only has 1 viewing angle unlike us. If this works anything like the floating TARDIS toys I've seen then its freaky how it tricks your brain

KomaWeiss said,
Why is it only shown from the top and not sideways?

because this thing is just a mirascope, its basically a ufo-shaped thing with mirrors on the inside and a hole... look it up on youtube and you will see it clearly

this thing is just a volumetric display inside a mirascope, so you could 'reach into' the image with your hands, but you cannot view it from too many angles