From Popular Science – New Technology, Science News, The Future Now: Video: Microsoft IllumiShare Lets You Play Remotely With Physical Objects

Microsoft IllumiShare Microsoft

IllumiShare, from Microsoft Research (also responsible for holodesks), is a system to allow two people to interact with various objects remotely. It gives cooperative activities like taking notes or creating documents a physicality: You’re not typing in Google Docs, you’re actually writing with ink and paper. Or playing cards with real cards, only your partner is on the other side of the world.

The IllumiShare is really just a cool implementation of a combined projector and camera. When two of them are communicating, each one records what it sees while simultaneously beaming that video to the other IllumiShare setup and projecting what it receives from its brother. Since it uses a regular camera, you can use physical objects like a pen and paper, or cards, or dice, as shown in the video below.

The drawback is that compared to a completely digital experience, you can only control the physical objects that are actually in front of you. So no, this doesn’t allow you to reach through a wrinkle in space-time to manipulate your friends’ cards. But it looks pretty seamless and probably wouldn’t even be all that expensive to make. Microsoft hasn’t implied any release date for it, though.

[via The Atlantic]

from Popular Science – New Technology, Science News, The Future Now

From Discover Magazine: Yes, Antibiotics Used on Livestock Do Breed Drug-Resistant Bacteria That Infect Humans | 80beats


The rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria has got many experts predicting a future in which currently tractable diseases, like tuberculosis, became untreatable again. The popularity of modern antibiotics, ironically, is what is leading to their downfall: antibiotics in consumer products, like soaps, as well as the excessive use of antibiotics by people who have no bacterial infections, help select for strains of bacteria that don’t respond to drugs. Factory-farmed livestock, which receive tremendous doses of antibiotics in their feed, are also a likely breeding ground for resistant bacteria that could potentially infect humans.

Proponents of factory farming have scoffed at such claims [pdf], but now, scientists have provided definitive evidence that this happens: through genetic analysis, they found that a strain of MRSA, already resistant to one family of drugs, had hopped from people to farmed pigs, acquired resistance to another antibiotic being fed to the pigs, and then leapt back into humans, taking its new resistance with it. That strain, called MRSA ST398 or CC398, is now causing 1 out of 4 cases of MRSA in some regions of the Netherlands [pdf], where it arose, and it has also been found across …



from Discover Magazine

From Engadget: Microsoft TechForum unveils three research projects (video)

TechForum is a Microsoft-sponsored shindig where the company can get together, party, and then show off its latest and greatest research projects. First up we’ve got a transparent interactive 3D display which builds on technology from Cambridge University’s HoloDesk project. Next is Holoflector, a “magic mirror” that overlays LCD projections onto your reflection. Both of these two projects rely heavily upon Kinect as more projects find the potential in the little sensor. Finally there’s Illumishare, a pair of overhead projectors / cameras that share a desktop space with a colleague when you need to look at the same thing. After the break you can see all three concepts in action and you can learn a little more about each at our source links.

[Thanks, Lokitoth]

Continue reading Microsoft TechForum unveils three research projects (video)

Microsoft TechForum unveils three research projects (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 28 Feb 2012 10:14:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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from Engadget