Microsoft Reveals Prototype ‘Vermeer’ Touch-Capable 3D Tabletop Hologram Display

Microsoft's Vermeer 3D Display

If you thought Microsoft was out of ideas after their touch-capable Surface displays, think again. We were contacted by them last night about a new technology still in the very early prototyping stage, something they’re calling Vermeer. This is 3D holographic technology that is right out of Star Wars, and was in fact inspired by the free-floating projected holograms in those films. Vermeer takes it one step further though. This is a 360 degree tabletop holographic display that you can touch and interact with.

There’s a lot of really amazing optics and sensing technology going on in here which I’d be out of my depth to try and explain. Fortunately they sent along a link to a video that does a really good job of explaining everything far better than I could. You’ll also probably want to watch it several times to get your head around what you’re seeing. The video shows very early prototypes of the technology with some limits. You’ll notice, for instance, that frame rates are very low, and everything’s limited to black and white, but both of these are correctable in time. And frankly the black and white makes it look even more “authentic Star Wars hologram” style.

We’re living in the future and it’s going to look incredible.


  1. Profile photo of Gord McLeod says

    Yup, but then too this is an early prototype. I imagine and hope we’ll get much better videos of much better versions of the technology in the coming months!

  2. says

    Gord, y ou’re right about watching the videa a few times to get your head around it. I wish they would have slowed down the text or did a voice over instead of that annoying sound bed. It would have been so much easier to digest that way. The future is going to look incredible if we can match up the engineers behind the technology and the optical talent to create the props.