Retro collaboration

Summary:Microsoft might be onto something with IllumiShare, a way of sharing pictures and objects without being bound by the constraints of your computer screen.

Microsoft might be onto something with IllumiShare, a way of sharing pictures and objects without being bound by the constraints of your computer screen.

As this video demonstration shows, it works away from your computer, using a camera projector. You can draw on a blank sheet of paper and add objects, and your conference partner can do the same. Your combined contributions are shared and projected to each participant.

The idea is blindingly simple — so much so that you may wonder why no one's done it before. The complexity, according to Steve Clayton in Microsoft's TechNet blog, is in eliminating video echo: "How do you ensure [the camera] doesn't capture what you're projecting from your surface and re-project it back?"

On the video demonstration, it seems to work perfectly. Imagine transferring the video projector onto a tablet or other mobile device so that you can sit down and start working anywhere.

It does seem to be a step closer to the natural way of doing things — on paper rather than on a computer screen. The only downside: when you take the paper away, you still only have your half of the combined effort. We assume the idea is that somewhere in the cloud, there's a record of the combined effort that you can print out and keep.

Topics: Microsoft, Piracy

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