A new invention could change the way people work, and it could mean that absolutely everyone will be able to work from home in the near future. MIT's Tangible Media Group has created a technology that allows 3D images to be rendered on a physical screen in real time. It allows the manipulation of objects from the other side of the world, and could be used for a wide range of applications.
According to a Cnet article on the new technology, which is called InForm, the device is currently in development. It uses 3D imaging technology, powered by Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)'s Kinect, and a proprietary physical screen to recreate physical movements in real time. The device has a long way to go before it becomes useful, but the possibilities appear to be massive.
MIT's physical 3D screen
The 3D physical screen is the really interesting part of this technology. The device includes 900 polystyrene pins that react to detections of a 3D camera. The pins are able to extend about four inches into the air in order to recreate the physicality that the computer instructs it to construct.
The device can be used to show bar graphs, 3D models and other reasonably simple three dimensional shapes. That means the device could be useful in anything from a simple business meeting to training simulators for surgeons and other professionals with the need for technical physical training. The device could eventually be used to allow many professionals to work from home.
Working from home with InForm
The InForm device is unlikely to result in manual labor from home any time soon, but the possibility is there. If the resolution of the device is increased, and the device is made more portable, it could be used to allow people with technical knowledge to work from across the world and still have their presence felt.
Devices that allow human physical presence to be felt thousands of miles away could change the way we communicate, and the way we work. It could also have a massive impact on several industries. Depending on the costs of the machines and the processes, 3D physical screens could be used to temporarily embody simple devices.
The advent of 3D screens is not yet here, but for those who dream of working from home the technology is certainly one to watch in the years ahead.