Calling grandma in 3D: Kinect consoles create telepresence

Ok, so they didn’t call grandma (although that would have been far cooler than a man waving a red cup which is who they did call), but these researchers at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have strung together a few Microsoft Kinect games consoles to create a 3D video telephone (conference) call – or in tech speak ‘Kinect Driven 3d Telepresence System‘.

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An augmented reality

The term Augmented Reality is popping up in more and more places of late, as the 3D visual technology rapidly develops.

Augmented Reality describes the technology that integrates computer graphics into real-world environments. Huh? Yes, it’s not easy to describe, but this video illustrates the possibilities beautifully for books:

Ad Age is predicting that within the next six months augmented reality will become more useful and natural. It looked at several examples including Wikitude developed by by Austrian company Mobilizy, which launched this demo video in October 2008.

Mobilizy describe the application as:

Wikitude is a mobile travel guide for the Android platform based on location-based Wikipedia and Qype content. It is a handy application for planning a trip or to find out about landmarks in your surroundings; 350,000 world-wide points of interest may be searched by GPS or by address and displayed in a list view, map view or cam view.

Think about the possibilities for just a few moments, and that marketers are beginning to use these techniques in advertising, and you begin to understand how walking down the street in the future could be a very different experience, as more invisible layers of data get added to the real-world and hard surfaced environment.

More examples