Now we know how Princess Leia projected her 3D image to send Obi-Wan a message: She installed Microsoft’s 3D video-calling Skype software onto R2-D2. Mark Gillett, who serves as Microsoft’s corporate vice president for Skype, tells BBC News that his company is working on creating 3D image capture technology that can project entire objects in three dimensions out of projectors. Although the company has prototypes up and running, Gillett said it would be many years before the industry developed a device ecosystem large enough to make selling the technology worthwhile.
“We’ve seen a lot of progress in screens and a lot of people now buy TVs and computer monitors that are capable of delivering a 3D image,” he explained. “But the capture devices are not yet there. As we work with that kind of technology you have to add multiple cameras to your computer, precisely calibrate them and point them at the right angle. We have it in the lab, we know how to make it work and we’re looking at the ecosystem of devices and their capability to support it in order to make a decision when we might think about bringing something like that to market.”