Microsoft’s research division has created augmented projectors, a new technology which use data from up to four Kinects to let you interact with a 3D model of any room you’re in. At its simplest, the projector shines an image which you can interact with by casting shadows, but the other applications are both more complex and more interesting.
The Kinect sensors within the room can define the space digitally, and then use the projector like a magic flashlight to expose and interact with the digital facsimile of the real room. Objects can be placed on walls, hanged in empty space, and electronic versions of real objects can be cloned and moved within the virtual reality.
Compare this to the bulky and expensive original Microsoft Surface and the augmented projectors could bring similar types of interaction to any room in your house in a fraction of the size. While the resolution isn’t very high and holding a projector seems jittery, it’s still one step towards Microsoft’s vision of the future.