Go to the cinema and star in the film you’re about to see

During the Expo 2005, spectator queueing to see a movie at Toshiba’s digital cinema are submitted to a futurecast, they place their faces into a hole in the wall for a few seconds. High-resolution digital cameras perform a quick scan from several angles, and everyone takes their seats.

The animated film, Grand Odyssey, begins as normal but the entire cast is made up of walking, talking digital replicas of people in the audience.


Each speactator gets a role — there are soldiers, doctors, scientists and politicians involved in the story — as a Toshiba supercomputer is processing the one-time-only film.

Elsewhere, Hitachi is inviting visitors to a virtual reality safari where they get handsets that contain a prototype of the mu-chip, a processor which, when brought close to particular transmitters, downloads any information on offer in that area and displays it on a small screen.

The safari ride employs a 3D projection system designed to work with a set of sensors strapped to the hands. In the virtual reality world, solid-seeming objects can be plucked from mid-air and examined more closely in the hands.

Elsewhere, NTT DoCoMo shows its object-recognition binoculars which recognise certain objects and displays details about them in the eyepiece.

Fix on a passing plane and the device will tell you the flight number and destination. Turn your attention to a flower, and it will tell you what variety it is.

DoCoMo hopes to use the technology in camera-equipped handsets. With particular databases of information installed, the phones could be pointed at objects of interest and used to collect information. Waved past an item in a shop, for example, it might inform users where the same thing could be bought more cheaply.

Via The Times.