Microsoft wants to project a life-sized person in a room to chat with you

Microsoft may be working on its HoloLens augmented reality technology, but the company has some other ideas in that area as well. One of them is called Room2Room, and it combines Microsoft's Kinect depth camera with a digital projector to place an image of a life-sized person in a room for conversation.

According to the MIT Technology Review, the idea from Room2Room is an extension of a previous Microsoft Research project called RoomAlive, which projected interactive gaming content on the sides of a room's walls. It states:

"Instead of setting up just one room with this hardware, though, they set up two similar ones so they could scan a person sitting in each room and project them into the other one. A video I was shown illustrates how it looks, with one man sitting on a chair, while another man is projected into a chair across from them (Room2Room places the projected image of a person into an open space, like a chair if they are captured in a seated position)."

Room2Room still has a number of challenges, such as its complex setup process and the fact that the images are currently projected in a low resolution. However, Microsoft Research says that with improvements in these and other areas, large companies could be using this technology in conference rooms in the next several years.

Source: MIT Technology Review

John Callaham
  • Anybody remembering star wars when some Jedi masters couldn't be in the council room they'd be holographically projected into their respective seats from a distant location. :P or is it just me
  • One word: Porn.
  • lol
  • First thing I thought of.  But then again, that's usually the first thing I think of.
  • You can bet on it. They'll be the first to put out consumer-oriented stuff for holograms. No matter how fast Disney may try to milk more Star-Wars-Money out of holograms.
  • There's already studios stateside that's filming and producing 3D p0rn and been trying to figure out how best to leverage Hololens (and Occulus). It's an accepted fact that where the industry goes is usually gets to be the accepted technology. So this is just an extension of what's already happening.
  • Lol isn't that what happened to umd
  • LMAO!!!!
  • "One word: Porn"
    F Yeah.
  • what is this all about afterall.
  • This is already better than Star Wars: No scan lines.  In color and not blue. We are living in the future!!!!!!!!
  • Great! Time to woo Cortana....
  • I was thinking the same
  • Cortana, can you wiggle a little, to the right. Now wiggle to the left. Now shake what Bungie/Microsoft gave you.
  • Hey Cortana, pretend to pick up that pen
  • Slowly... Slooooowly
  • Star wars!
  • Remember ilumiroom??? That was the stuff.
  • That was some cool stuff. I hope Microsoft is still working on it.
  • "Your looking a bit flat, did you lose weight?" - Get it? No? That's not funny? Ok nevermind.
  • "flat" lol
  • Roflmao
  • If anything was flat, it was the way that joke fell. Okay, I found it a *little* funny, but then from the viewer's perspective (i.e. the guy in the other chair, the "flat" projection should look normal. Like some of the Illumiroom projects, the "3D" projection is normalized for the intended viewer.
  • Hahah
  • Nah it's kind of funny :D
  • Was this not one of the ideas from public suggestions on what they want to do with hololens.?
  • what is this all about afterall.
  • Nice tech for the coming years
  • Yeah and some would say Google is where the most Innovation takes place :P
  • Those people would also say that Apple is still interesting
  • I've more creative thinking...this idea was mine...hit my mind months ago...wish I had patented it :P
  • I'm pretty sure this idea has been in sci-fi movies way before you were even born lol
  • If they can make it as a hologram from the projector and not just as a flat image mapped onto whatever surface I will have a boner for the rest of my life :D
  • LOL, by boner did you really mean what I think you meant?
  • The dudes hands look like a giant boner anyway...
  • You do know that it's not safe to have one for more than four hours, right?
  • Haha
  • Like holograms?
  • Oh yeah
  • That looks kinda creepy... I don't think I wanna talk to a friend who looks like that
  • "Help me, Obi-wan Kenobi! You're my only hope!"
  • Finish W10 dammit
  • Come up with a more intelligent comment dammit
  • Yes! I've been waiting for ages and starting to get disappointed
  • Good for testing but i would say stupid.
  • This will work, when MS finishes W12 for phones, tablets, laptops and PCs.
  • Neat, but if they could project a three dimensional figure I'd be really impressed.
  • I do not see how this is practical in everyday life. Video calls already has this beat.
  • It's not really for everyday life... but it's more like video calls you see in sci fi movies.  Which can be even furthered being virtually somewhere without physically being there.
  • Do they though? Is there a better level of interaction with a video call than to see the person in the room with you? Hell this can open up for better collaboration and even less travel for companies around the world if done correctly. Much easier to present with AR than a Teleconference.
  • Needs some work :)
  • Holodeck upgrade to Hololens...
  • "The Doctor" from Star Trek is in beta. He sounds a little like Hhhheaddddroom, right nnnnow....
  • What they need to solve is the ability to locate the camera where the projected person's face is located. This way you can have a true eye to eye conversation. What I hate about video conference, everyone is either looking up or down depending where the camera is placed in relation to the monitor because you naturally want to look at the monitor when conferencing. TV solves this by having the teleprompter right in front of the camera lens so the subject can read while they appear to be looking right at you and not off to the side.  Phones probably do this best right now as the lens is close to the screen. Fix this issue and a virtual conversation becomes more natural.
  • Why is it everything from msft are both exciting and disappointing? This one is cool though.
  • nice!
  • holy crap. one step closer to star wars
  • I wish they stuck with illumiroom/roomalive. It seemed like the only thing worth owning a kinect for and actually would have been willing to invest in the setup for that type of novelty.
  • Hologram
  • hmm, Video conference is too simple ? what is the added value to holoconference besides being "cool"  
  •    They did this for a season on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.