Wednesday 30 July 2008

Microsoft Researchers Develop Interactive Sphere prototype that Plays 360 Degree Video

The surface Sphere comes from the same Microsoft Researchers that developed the Surface, in that it utilizes a projector surrounded by a ring of IR cameras, which is then covered by a semi-opaque globe. When users are interfacing with the device their interactions are being captured by the lenses down below. The IR cameras detect when the beams are being blocked, and transmits it as contact. Thus photos and video tiles can be shuffled around the Sphere.

It appears to be more advanced than Surface, since it has to use algorithms to round images, and uses an infrared system to detect hands and objects touching it. The device plays omnidirectional video and can therefore also show inside out type panoramas.

The developers have been prototyping interactive applications that explore collaborative actions for multiple users positioned around it, such that users flick the sphere like a globe to make it simulate rotation, then drag fingers across to create a paint trail.

It seems unclear at this stage as to what uses in the world hungers for such a device other than for creative individuals, although here is an artist who has developed something similar.

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