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 PocketLab is billed as a “Swiss Army Knife of science.” Launched via Kickstarter, the small device contains numerous sensors to measure acceleration, force, angular velocity, magnetic field, pressure, altitude, and temperature and send that data to smartphones or laptops. According to inventor Clifton Roozeboom, it’s a tool for students and citizen scientists who can’t […]
Ambient displays translate online information into a simple presentation that’s meant to be glanceable, easy to understand, and non-intrusive. I’ve always appreciate artistic ambient displays, like Nancy Patterson’s Stock Market Skirt and Eric Paulos’s Limelight. Ken Kawamoto’s Tempescope appears to be another wonderful example. It’s a weather display in the form of a transparent box […]
Twenty years ago, Texas Instruments released the TI-83 graphing calculator, a stupidly expensive piece of old technology that most high schools still require their juniors and seniors buy for around $100. Why? Because. That’s why. From Mic.com: Pearson textbooks feature illustrations of TI-series calculators alongside chapters so students can use their TI calculator in conjunction […]
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Power up your gadgets in the most unexpected places with the extremely compact SolarJuice battery pack. SolarJuice charges up at home like your average battery pack, but also lets you add extra juice on-the-go using its built-in solar panel—so you’ll never be left unplugged from the digital world.4.5 Stars on Amazon!Simultaneously charges 2 devices at […]