Image via Vimeo screengrab
We TreeHuggers are well versed in telecommunication -- we use Skype all day every day to keep in touch, run meetings, and communicate as if we were in an office. But this kind of heavy use of teleconferencing has shown us that our options for video aren't always so awesome. Fortunately, some cool techies have figured out how to use a Kinect to make video conferencing a lot more useful and interesting, including changing the setting the speaker is sitting in and even using augmented reality.
Engadget points us to Kinected Conference at MIT Media Lab, which shows us how the team at the lab has manipulated the abilities of the Kinect device for detecting depth to make teleconferencing a whole lot more interactive and useful.Teleconferencers can blur out the screen except for the speaker (which works great if you're teleconferencing from your livingroom or some other rather unprofessional space), or freeze frame yourself for when you want to look like your'e on camera but go do other things (like a bathroom break!).
What I most love is how augmented reality can be looped in, so that object sizes and perspectives can be more understandable to viewers.
Check out the features in this video:
Using devices like Kinect is going to show us how teleconferencing can be a much more prominent, and perfectly effective, way of holding meetings with people across long distances and cut down travel time, expenses and emissions. I venture to guess that this kind of technology is going to become far more popular as features like this find a home in the business sphere.
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