Screen grab 'Illumishare' by Microsoft Research. Photo: AFP
IllumiShare is a new concept that allows anyone to share both physical and digital objects on any surface.
It sounds very strange but the concept is surprisingly simple. Imagine working at a table, writing a letter. By shining the IllumiShare on the letter it can be shared by another person in real time, with another IllumiShare, anywhere in the world.
In an interview with tech site Pocket Lint, Steve Clayton, chief storyteller at Microsoft explains its chief benefits: "With IllumiShare people can sketch together using real ink and paper, remote meeting attendees can interact with conference room whiteboards, and children can have remote play dates in which they interact with real toys."
The project, which was announced in February and is only now being demonstrated to select journalists, combines a projector, a camera and an Ikea lamp. The camera films the illuminated space where the object exists and sends that information to another IllumiShare device. It projects what the camera is seeing on to a surface so that two people can see the same object at the same time. Now both people can make changes to the document and those changes are filmed by one device to be projected by the other. However, the project is still in its infancy and according to Pocket Lint, the researchers involved in the project are still trying to figure out how to save the work created.