A Queen's University researcher has created a
human-scale 3D videoconferencing pod that allows people
in different locations to video conference as if they
are standing in front of each other.
"Why Skype when you can talk to a life-size 3D
holographic image of another person?" says professor
Roel Vertegaal, director of the Human Media Lab.
The technology Dr. Vertegaal and researchers at the
Queen's Human Media Lab have developed is called
TeleHuman and looks like something from the Star Trek
holodeck. Two people simply stand infront of their own
life-size cylindrical pods and talks to a 3D
hologram-like images of each other. Cameras capture and
track 3D video and convert into the life-size image.
Since the 3D video image is visible 360 degrees around
the Pod, the person can walk around it to see the other
person's side or back.
While the technology may seem like it comes from a
galaxy far, far away, it's not as complicated as most
would think. Dr. Vertegaal and his team used mostly
existing hardware -- including a 3D projector, a 1.8
metre-tall translucent acrylic cylinder and a convex
The researchers used the same Pod to create another
application called BodiPod, which presents an
interactive 3D anatomy model of the human body. The
model can be explored 360 degrees around the model
through gestures and speech interactions. When people
approach the Pod, they can wave in thin air to peel off
layers of tissue. In X-ray mode, as users get closer to
the Pod they can see deeper into the anatomy, revealing
the model's muscles, organs and bone structure. Voice
commands such as "show brain" or "show heart" will
automatically zoom into a 3D model of a brain or heart.
Dr. Vertegaal will unveil TeleHuman and BodiPod at CHI
2012, the premier international conference on
human-computer interaction, in Austin, Texas May 5-10.