Microsoft has taken the wraps off another research project today as part of the company's TechForum event. Illumishare allows remote people to share physical or digital objects onto any surface. Using a device that looks like a desk lamp, Illumishare uses a camera-projector that captures video of a local workspace and sends it to a remote space to allow both parties to interact. The result means that people could play a physical card game, draw together using real pen and paper, or interact with any physical objects in a virtual way.

The Illumishare project is a working research concept right now but it clearly shows the potential for physical interaction using relatively simple virtual technologies. Microsoft says the hardware required for Illumishare is low-cost, so a real world implementation might not be that far off. The potential use cases for such a technology are endless, with remote working, education, and gaming benefiting from such a simple but powerful concept.