Microsoft: “Excuse us, while we Pinch-the-Sky”

Once again, Microsoft Research is up to something amazing with Pinch-the-Sky. This project is currently a geodesic dome with cardboard shingles, and with an omni-directional projector in the middle that is gesture and speech sensitive.

One of the things that this thing can do is show the viewer the universe like nothing else. You can watch the video after the jump and see the user scroll through galaxies and stars, and magnify planets like an iPhone app. All of the stellar information comes from telescopes, and the user can even say things like “Saturn”, and the program will focus on Saturn.

It reminds me of these rooms on the U.S.S. Enterprise that are devoted to “Stellar Cartography”. It’s a heck of a lot better than looking at the infinity of space with two-dimensional maps.

Of course, Pinch the Sky has other applications too. For example, you can know what it feels like to be in a snow globe. It also has some weird diagram of social networking that really confused me.

Yeah, those don’t sound too useful. Still, I wouldn’t mind getting a geodesic dome and an omni-directional projector so I could do my daily work. Man, I could have hundreds of screens surrounding me, each one running some different application! Not only that, it would be cool to work under a geodesic dome.

Keep on working, Microsoft Research, keep on working.