Microsoft's LightSpace technology to revolutionise PowerPoint

Written by: Nitsi
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London, Oct 5 (ANI): Microsoft's LightSpace technology is set to take the digital world by storm - by allowing you to touch and play with light - it will ensure that slide presentations are no more a drab affair.

The LightSpace prototype projects slides, documents, photographs or video onto any surface, from a table to a door. Presenters can then touch and literally pick up a virtual item from a display and carry it across the room as a spot of light in the palm of their hand.

For example, to 'play video' move your hand along a projected light beam that acts as the central control. Holding your hand in the right position on the menu for a few seconds activates the function.

"The aim is to bring the kind of multi-touch interaction you get with LCD surface displays to every surface in a room," New Scientist quoted Andrew Wilson of the Microsoft Research lab in Redmond, Washington, as saying.

LightSpace works by using projectors, motion-tracking sensors and depth-sensing cameras.

LightSpace uses three depth cameras to create a full 3D image of the area of the room in which a presentation is being made. Instead of looking for gaming cues such as kicks and punches, it identifies which projected media the user is interacting with.

"We're still exploring the interactions enabled by this kind of technology," said co-developer Hrvoje Benko.

Wilson says the project may yet work in concert with another Microsoft project, Skinput, in which a user-worn microprojector casts touchscreen menus on the skin, with taps on the skin recognised acoustically.

However, Max Atkinson, author of the book Lend Me Your Ears, a critique of computer-assisted slide-show presentations, cautions that an audience might struggle to concentrate in a presentation with multiple active surfaces.

"I'm not against digital aids for presenters, but LightSpace sounds a massive distraction." (ANI)

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