'Telepod' is a fully-3D virtual person projection system

The reason 3D sucks is that it's usually not 3D. It's 2D, plus a token smidge of depth. True 3D is something that you can walk entirely around and seamlessly view from all sides, which is what you'll find in this life-sized telepod that can project an entire person straight into your living room.

Developed by a group of hard-working Canadians at the Human Media Lab at Queen's University in, you know, Canada, the telepod is a cylindrical display system capable of projecting an entire person inside itself in three glorious dimensions. This means that you can walk around the outside of the telepod, and it'll seem like you're walking around a person inside it at the same time. Watch:

The clever amongst you are probably going "hey, but how can I see someone's back with just those six Kinect sensors up there!" It's a good question, and it turns out that there are four additional Kinect sensors placed around the room that the Telepod is in to provide side and back views, making for 10 sensors total. From what I can tell, though, the image projected into the Telepod is only based on the perspective of the end user, meaning that only one person can view the telepod at a time: anyone else will see the same projection, whatever angle they might be looking from.

Having said that, it is pretty cool that you can walk completely around the person that you're talking to, just like they're standing right there, albeit inside a tube. It needs a little refinement before we're quite at the level of the Star Wars holographic systems (widely accepted as the standard for interactive real-time 3D communications), but this is one more virtual step in the right direction.

Via Queens University Media Lab

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