Kinect Hack Shows Star Wars Holograms Not So Far, Far Away

The tech behind the Xbox 360's new camera controller, Kinect, is now being used for an impressive—most impressive—new feat: to capture 3D images, stream them over the internet and display them in holographic form.

That's not necessarily a new thing, but the Object-Based Media Group at the MIT Media Lab is doing it with off-the-shelf hardware and doing so better than previous holographic milestones. According to an MIT News report, the Kinect-powered hologram transmitter uses a single camera and can update transmissions at a speed of 15 frames per second over the internet.

Compare that to a similar holographic transmitter from last year that uses 16 cameras and updates at just two frames per second and we're betting the Galactic Empire is already stocking up on Kinects.

MIT researchers believe they'll be able to eventually reach 30 frames per second with their Kinect hologram capture system.

Michael Bove of the Object-Based Media Group, with help from Princess Leia, explains how it works and what it looks like in a video that probably doesn't capture the tech as spectacularly as an in-person demo might. (Yeah, it looks about as graphically rich as any Virtual Boy game you've ever seen.)

MIT News delves deeper into the hardware and software that makes holograms possible with Kinect.

3-D TV? How about holographic TV? [MIT News via Andy Baio]