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Kinect helps make holographic video a reality
 posted  January 28th 2011 at 8:47 AM
Trust me, it's more than just another Kinect hack Remember the holographic video of Princess Leia in Star Wars? "Help me Obi Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope"? Of course you do. Well now a team of engineers and scientist at MIT have brought that iconic scene one step closer to reality, and all with the help of Xbox 360's Kinect sensor. The team used the device to capture light from a moving object and wired the information to a PC which housed three graphics processing units. Thanks to the computational speed of the processing units and Kinect's ability to track and record moving objects, the team were able to create the fastest ever 3D holographic video. The postcard-sized video was of a student dressed as Princess Leia. The video ran at 15 frames a second, still quite a way off the 24 to 30 frames a second that we're used to as a movie audience. The video was reportedly not as clear or stable as the one featured in Star Wars, however, it's still considered to be an important milestone in bringing holographic video to life. Michael Bove, the MIT engineer who led the research, said: “The students were able to figure out how to generate holograms by using what graphics processing unit chips are good at. And the chips get faster every year. There’s room for a lot more understanding of how to compute holograms on them.” “There’s a variety of technologies, but the fact is, the barrier to entry has been unbelievably high for the past 20 years. Now, many technologies are maturing at the same time. I think we’ll see some fun things in the next few years.” Bove also said he looks toward the possibilities of holographic video in teleconferencing in the near future, furthering the boundaries of long distance communication, just like Darth Vader and the Emperor in their imperial discussions.
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