MIT researchers are making progress with their "Princess Leia" hologram demo, a system that uses Microsoft Kinect to capture live 3D data and transmit it over the Net to a holographic projector. I first saw a previous generation of this projector demonstrated more than a dozen years ago by the late holography pioneer Professor Stephen Benton. The technology blew me away then and it's come a long way, even though the effect may not translate so well in the video above. From New Scientist:
The real holographic image couldn't match the resolution achieved by special effects in the movie, (MIT professor Michael) Bove says, but adds, "Princess Leia wasn't being transmitted in real time. She was stored" in R2-D2's memory.
Bove's group started with an array of 16 low-resolution infrared cameras, spaced evenly along a metre-long line. Computer processing combined the images to generate the data needed for the 3D holographic projector at the rate of 15 frames per second.
The next step came in late December when they bought their first Kinect, and hacked the camera system made by PrimeSense of Israel, which records three-dimensional profiles by projecting a grid of laser light onto a scene. This approach, called structured light, yields resolution of 640 by 480 pixels, three times higher than each infrared camera. That was good enough to record the holographic Princess Leia scene shown here.
The graphene temporary tattoo seen here is the thinnest epidermal electronic device ever and according to the University of Texas at Austin researchers who developed it, the device can take some medical measurements as accurately as bulky wearable sensors like EKG monitors. From IEEE Spectrum: Graphene’s conformity to the skin might be what enables the […]
In ye olden days, a telephone user had to ask the operator to call the desired party and make the connection. Then the dial telephone empowered us all to, er, reach out and touch someone. This 1927 instructional film from the telephone company explains the basics: “The ringing signal is an intermittent burring sound telling […]
Do you remember the first time you used a remote control on your television set or favorite toy? It was incredible right? I can honestly say that making my sister believe I had telekinetic powers was fantastic! But as I’ve accumulated more and more remote controls in my life, I’ve become jaded. And then, I […]
You know as well as I that writing complex, long-long form text requires significant organization. You’re probably also well aware that Word just isn’t up to the task. That’s why I’m a huge fan of Scrivener, the software suite used by best-selling authors and technical writers alike.Scrivener is much more than another digital typewriter. With a […]
Looking to upgrade your weekend? Here are three randomly awesome products on my mind this week.#3 FRESHeBUDS Pro Magnetic Bluetooth EarbudsAs more and more phones and gadgets switch to Bluetooth-only compatibility, you’ll need to get Bluetooth headphones like the rest of us. I’ve been super impressed with these affordable magnetic headphones. Pull the magnetic earbuds apart to auto-connect […]
Traditional folding wallets are designed for paper bills—but these days, carrying cash is rarely a necessity. More often than not, I don’t carry cash at all. This Bogui Clik Wallet is the best answer I’ve found for avoiding the hassle of those tight-fitting credit card pockets.This attractive, minimalist wallet features a protective lip, so my cards don’t […]