[Dr. Roel Vertegaal] has led a team of collaborators from [Queen’s University] to build TeleHuman 2 — a telepresence setup that aims to project your actual-size likeness in 3D.
Developed primarily for business videoconferencing, the setup requires a bit of space on both ends of the call. A ring of stereoscopic z-cameras capture the subject from all angles which the corresponding projector on the other end displays. Those projectors are arranged in similar halo above a human-sized, retro-reflective cylindrical screen which can be walked around — viewing the image from any angle without a VR headset or glasses — in real-time!
One of the greatest advantages of this method is that ring of projectors makes your likeness viewable to a group since the image isn’t locked to the perspective of one individual. Conceivably, this also allows for one person to be in many places at once — so to speak. The team argues that as body language is an integral part of communication, this telepresence method will ultimately bring long-distance interactions closer the feeling of being a face-to face.
It would be awesome to see this technology develop further, where the cameras and projectors could allow the user an area of free movement — for, say, more sweeping gestures or pacing about — on both ends of the call to really sell the illusion of the person being in the same physical space.
[Thanks for the tip, Qes!]