Here at Futurismic, we’ve talked about multi-touch interfaces before. However, today, Microsoft researchers have revealed a development of the technology which is, well, something of a conceptual leap.
While flat-panel displays might be the current interface zeitgeist, Todd Bishop (amongst others) believes this development means “Microsoft thinks the shape of things to come might be a sphere” –
Microsoft researchers are taking the wraps off a prototype that uses an internal projection and vision system to bring a spherical computer display to life. People can touch the surface with multiple fingers and hands to manipulate photos, play games, spin a virtual globe, or watch 360-degree videos …
Sphere is a cousin of the Microsoft Surface tabletop computer, already being used in retail and hospitality settings. The underlying hardware for Sphere is sold commercially by Global Imagination of Los Gatos, Calif., but Microsoft researchers made numerous enhancements and developed specialized software.
In a broader sense, the project reflects Microsoft’s belief that many more surfaces will become computer displays, with embedded microprocessors, in the years to come.
To wrap your head around some of the potential applications of this muti-touch globe, check out the video!
For me, it’s with the omnidirectional video / surveillance applications that this technology really begins to show its value …
[story via Todd Bishop’s Microsoft Blog. Image by likeyesterday, via Flickr]