Microsoft’s 3D Transparent Interface Makes Us Feel Like We’re Living in the Future
By Joshua Schnell
Windows 8 may seem like a radical change from what came before it, but some of the stuff Microsoft has cooking in its research labs makes Windows 8 look boring by comparison.
Researchers at Microsoft’s Applied Sciences Grop developed a 3D-looking computer interface displayed on a transparent screen. Microsoft’s 3D computing combines Samsung’s new transparent OLED screen, as well Microsoft’s own Kinect sensors. Combining the two allowed the research team to create a virtual 3D desktop that you can manipulate with hand gestures.
The Kinect sensors track the hand gestures, as well as your eye and head movements, adjusting the perspective of the screen accordingly. In what may be a strange, backwards setup to most, the screen is actually positioned in front of the keyboard. This makes it so you can switch from interacting with objects in 3D behind the screen to the more conventional interaction via the keyboard. And since the screen is transparent, you can still see what you’re typing.
This technology is purely experimental for now. Whether this technology ever sees the light of day depends on whether or not transparent screens become practical, but it’s clear that the computing giants are looking at way to change the way we interact with our computers.