Classic HN, pedantic comments about this not being a hologram.
The LeapMotion is quite nice to use with WebGL / three.js.
It's not pedantic because it has a material effect on what we're lead to believe this is. This is hacker news. A hacker knows (and cares about) the difference between a "3D hologram" and Pepper's Ghost illusion, and that distinction is important in understanding what has been achieved.
This is definitely a cool hack, but it does not involve 3-dimensional projection. This is a 2D image cast on to a 2D projection plane with no stereoscopic effect. That makes the term "3D hologram" a misnomer at best, and a gross misrepresentation at worst.
Because of this mislabeling, we're all sitting around talking about the inaccuracy of the title, rather than the fun part. That's the fault of the person who titled the article, not the person pointing it out.
Too late to edit my top comment, so I shall reply here: I apologize for perpetuating the problem, because now there's several top comments discussing how parent was actually correct, and the real discussion is yet again derailed.
The first thing he said is that it's cool. And he's right, it's not a hologram; some of us care about that, and would really like to see actual holograms. It's not an attempt to take away from the achievement here, rather a desire not to exaggerate it.
Leap has announced that the devices will be available to the public on May 13.
It's a nice compliment to the XBox Kinect, too.
Gesture recognition has been added so I need to spend a bit of time with that today.
I was lucky enough to give a presentation at an Intel "Perceptual Computing" meetup (their version of the LeapMotion), and I met a dev advocate from LeapMotion.
There are a few companies working on this at once; I think it's definitely something to keep an eye on. It seems like a natural evolution of webcams.
Down-voted your comment because you are confusing the truth with being pedantic.
This demo is neat. No question about it. I like when people play with ideas like this.
The demo isn't any more a hologram or 3D than if I took four LCD's, arranged them as the sides of a cube and turned down the lights. Other than not seeing through the LCD's, the images would be the same.
Again, as the person you are accusing of being pedantic said, this is no hologram and it isn't 3D in almost any imaginable way.
Notice how he moves from angle to angle quickly with the camera? That's because there are no volumetrics here. It's just a flat 2D image effectively seen through a 45 degree partial mirror.
It's a 2D image that appears to float in space. And it's cool.
Many, many years ago I thought about the idea of installing a screen spinning or translating (harder mechanically, easier imaging) at high speed in a vacuum chamber with transparent walls and then using lasers to project slices of a true 3D scene onto it. Challenging, but it would be really interesting to see how something like that works out.
Today's average 3D displays are "stereoscopic": they have 2 views, for the left and right eye. A real hologram shows the whole object, so multiple people can walk around it and see it from every angle at once.
But this isn't even stereoscopic. This is just a 2D image reflected on a piece of glass.
Holography entails the diffractive reconstruction of the wavefront corresponding to a 3-D scene, and optical holograms are generated using the coherent interference of light scattered from a 3-D scene with that from a second reference beam. Holography, by definition, necessitates scene reconstruction via diffraction. In the case of an electro-holographic display, diffraction patterns corresponding to 3-D scenes are computed and displayed on suitable light modulators to achieve wavefront reconstruction. This technology is still in its infancy, so you probably won't see anything truly holographic in the marketplace for some number of years.
As cool as this demonstration is, it's using a 19th-century technique -- "Pepper's Ghost" -- and cannot correctly be called holographic.
It looks like it's being reflected off an inverted four-sided hollow (perspex?) pyramid, rather than projected into a prism, but still a neat idea; sort of like the inverse of the (formerly Microsoft) Polycom 360 degree conference camera.
I'm curious what it looks like viewed from one of the edges - I can't picture it being seamless?
this is amazing. the future of the interface indeed. forget iron man this is more like star wars. but more seriously, i'm very interested to see what comes next with this in terms of interaction. i'm not sure how long lived the LEAP device will be, but this sort of holographic interaction technology certainly has a big future!
The device itself is pretty solid, and there are several other companies working on 3D motion detection (such as Intel, who has the lofty aim of replacing single webcams with dual webcams.) I think this definitely has a shot at augmenting computer interaction.