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Microsoft's transparent 3D desktop puts a virtual computing environment at your fingertips

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Microsoft's Applied Sciences Group has shown off a prototype 3D desktop that allows users to type as they normally would, and then reach up to interact with virtual objects displayed on a transparent Samsung OLED screen.

Microsoft's Applied Sciences Groups 3D Virtual Desktop
Microsoft's Applied Sciences Groups 3D Virtual Desktop

In yet another TechForum reveal, Microsoft's Applied Sciences Group has demonstrated a new interactive 3D desktop prototype. The system uses a transparent OLED screen made by Samsung along with Microsoft Kinect sensors to create a virtual desktop environment that users can manipulate with their hands in real-time. A keyboard beneath the transparent screen allows a user to type as they would with a normal computer, and then when they need to interact with the desktop — to say, flip through a stack of files — they simply reach up and move the virtual objects with their fingers.

The Kinect sensors not only track the motion of the user's hands, but they also track head and eye position as well, allowing the screen to provide a 3D image with perspective and depth customized to the user's exact position. If you're thinking this sounds a little similar to Norman Jayden's Additional Reality Interface from Heavy Rain, you're not the only one, but to get a real sense of the system in action, check out the video below.