As our technology advances, so it has mingled the virtual and the real world. The best example of this intermingling is known as augmented reality, in which real-world objects can be used to interact with the virtual world and vice versa.
Helping this along is depth cameras that allow you to carry out various tricks with the ability to detect real-world objects with quite the degree of accuracy.
Intel’s research lab in Seattle is now researching the techniques and usages for what they call the “Kinect style” depth cameras.
Among the research, they have developed the OASIS (Object Aware Situated Interaction System) project that combine the depth camera and a projector resulting in some very interesting augmented reality applications.
One of these applications deals with our all time favourite building block/toy, Legos. It can effectively bring the Legos to life (as pictured above). View the demonstration video here: OASIS: Playing Lego with Kinect style camera and interactive projector system
The other idea adds a new degree of interactivity to everyday objects, and in this case, they’re your groceries. This allows you to manage your grocery lists using real fruits and vegetables. It can even warn you when you’ve left your ice-cream sitting on the counter for too long! View the demonstration video here: OASIS: Object Aware Situated Interactive System (Kitchen)
One more project they are working on is a system that can map a room just by walking around with a depth camera, which can then of course be navigated using the very same depth camera and a pair of 3D goggles.
I love to see augmented reality technology being developed upon and I believe we truly are just years away from seeing it implemented in everyday life.