Microsoft gave a sneak preview of its latest Natural User Interface (NUI) research recently at their Seattle offices, giving lucky observers a good look at just how far 3D Avatar capture and model rendering has progressed in the last few years.
As the two videos below show, the ability to have your face mapped over a digital character (i.e as an avatar) is quite cool when you consider you could be running around a game world with your face plastered over character - and have it actually look like your face and not some pixelated reproduction of your high school photo. You’d also be forgiven for having flashbacks to scenes from James Cameron's Avatar, although this Kinect technology might be the closest thing we have to the science-fiction coolness in that film.
Additionally, Microsoft are making big in-roads into ‘wedge-lens’ technology, which allows for movements to be detected above a surface using cameras mounted below a flatscreen. The best part about the light reflecting wedges, is the huge potential to create auto-stereoscopic images (3D) without the dorky glasses that give people like myself headaches and eyestrain.