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Networking The Internet Technology Science

Telepresence Via Matter Imaging 124

Qa32 writes "Computer scientists in the U.S. are developing a system which would allow people to convey a solid 3D recreation of themselves over the Internet. From the article: 'When you watch something created by claymation, it is a real object and it looks like it's moving itself. That's something like the idea we're doing... in our case, the idea is that you have computation in the 'clay', as though the clay can move itself.'"
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Telepresence Via Matter Imaging

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  • by yagu (721525) <> on Friday June 17, 2005 @09:51PM (#12848854) Journal

    From the article:

    And he stressed this would be useful for much more than simple video conferencing.

    "It's very artificial to talk to somebody through a glass wall, which is effectively what you have when you have a screen," he added.

    If someone could make this work, I could see it being a useful improvement over traditional video-conferencing technology, albeit, maybe a bit eerie and weird to get used to.

    I worked for a large corporation, and they continued to pump large sizes of dollars into each successive generation of new televideo conferencing equipment to the promise of it "like being in the room with your Denver peers" (putting aside for the moment I have no peers). And, while each generation was an improvement, the experience never even approached like being in the same room for so many reasons, but like the article points points out, maybe one of the biggest reasons was the permanent glass barrier.

    I found no matter how "good" the quality got, it was always an annoying way to communicate and I finally opted for any of those meetings to participate from my desk via phone, no video.

    However, for those who have seen Revenge, I found the "pseudo" conferencing whereby remote participants (at this point that line becomes blurred) existed as holograms, sitting in a chair in the room with everyone else. That may be eerie, but I think the biological nature of man would quickly overcome that weirdness and it could soon seem as if the person were really there.

    Or, this could just be a bunch of hoooie.

  • by udderly (890305) on Friday June 17, 2005 @09:51PM (#12848855)
    I wonder if it would be possible to edit my 3D representation to make me look better.
    • Re:I wonder (Score:5, Funny)

      by Seumas (6865) * on Friday June 17, 2005 @09:57PM (#12848888)
      This is computational clay. Not MAGIC clay.
    • IF you are ugly .. i don't think the clay is gonna help. From my close friends in unnamed clans that, i have never seen before in my life... i don't want to see them, really. I really REALLY don't want to see them, just talking to them for one min on aim make me wonder why they are vergens. ;) If this 'claymation' becomes popular.. I'm waiting for the skins hack to show up. Click here to look like Carmen Electra even though you are a 500 pound fat ass WHALE! Screw claymation. Screw Bush! heh.. back to
  • Isn't this just a lot of peer reviewed thesis backed "The SIMS"?

    • Isn't this just a lot of peer reviewed thesis backed "The SIMS"?

      Y'know, you might have meant that as a joke, but on a more serious note, why wouldn't we transmit a sort of fictitious avatar rather than a true representation of ourselves?

      Why do a "live" 3d conference, when you can simply fix everything you've never liked about yourself? Perhaps you consider your nose a bit large, or don't like your current hair-color, or want bigger eyes (they inspire trust via that whole creepy-baby psychological thin
  • This could (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, 2005 @09:53PM (#12848863)
    Really change the future of net sex!
    • Any technological improvement must first benefit porn before it can take off. It's an unspoken rule. For example every single geek wishes for a holodeck for the soul purpose of holosex.
      • by N3Roaster (888781)
        Any technological improvement must first benefit porn before it can take off. It's an unspoken rule.
        Unspoken, huh?
        • Of course it's unspoken. Not written or typed out, perhaps not, but it hasn't been spoken. Unless he uses speech-to-text software, but I think there'd be an error or two in the sentence if that was the case.
    • Just producing a solid version seems unlikely enough. So for porn, sure. Producing a warm, wet, and, I guess, more importantly, orificed interactive version seems somewhat more complex and definitely beyond the realms of this lifetime....
      • by tuoppi (415801) on Saturday June 18, 2005 @09:40AM (#12850839)
        Producing a warm, wet, and, I guess, more importantly, orificed interactive version seems somewhat more complex and definitely beyond the realms of this lifetime....

        Actually, that's already reality. This implementation is called "woman". See [] for more information.

        Even if woman was implemented a long time ago (some legends mention a liberal usage of spare parts from a standard nerd), the price hasn't gone down, and this product is still very rare among nerd community.
  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Friday June 17, 2005 @09:56PM (#12848882) Homepage Journal
    to being the real thing sans the nagging.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Great! Just what we need. A bunch of fat, bald, "claymation" old men running around in their underwear on the Internet looking for dates. It's bad enough they are already stuck behind the bright light of their computer screen doing this. Now they can practically "enter" the Internet for all to see!

    Kind of reminds me of that Futurama episode where they all used VR gear to enter the Internet -- with an overall TRON-like feel. You had to love the chat rooms, with all of the guys cowering in one corner.
  • by hedley (8715) <> on Friday June 17, 2005 @09:56PM (#12848884) Journal

    Don't doooo it Daaaaveeeey!!!

  • Hmm... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by excelblue (739986) on Friday June 17, 2005 @10:00PM (#12848901) Homepage
    I wonder what would happen if I were to touch the replicated object and attempt to mess around with the inner parts of it.

    Or what kind of disaster would I end up with if there was some serious lag in the information? How about corrupted info?
    • Re:Hmm... (Score:3, Funny)

      by RickPartin (892479)
      Completely consuming and destroying your hand silly. All futuristic technology has to be able to spontaneously kill people as a rule.
    • The biggest problem of this "claymation" technology is latency. Sure, we'll have Internet2 to support the amount of information that will need to be transferred, but when two people stand next to each other and communicate, there is no lag.

      Part of the problem why phone and video conferences don't work well is the delay with which information is propagated to the other side. This problem exists regardless of whether you're transferring voice, video or some wireframe data...

      In a complex system like this,
  • I'd say that high-fallutin' use of Internet2 and HD-res cams/displays with quality stereo audio is going to make a more satisfying interaction for a long time before some jostling tennis-ball-sized blobs will do anything beside distract from the conversation.
  • Increase in crime (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Newrad (692715) on Friday June 17, 2005 @10:02PM (#12848911) Homepage Journal
    Could this be used from crime sprees? Dress up in all black and then project yourself in a bank and steal the money. Or use your projected self and start beating people up on the streets, it's the perfect crime. If the comes up you just turn the thing back to dust.
  • So... (Score:4, Funny)

    by creimer (824291) on Friday June 17, 2005 @10:02PM (#12848912) Homepage
    Wouldn't creating a copy of another person be a form of piracy? Yet another technology that the movie/record industry will try to eliminate. After all, why should anyone be allowed to have a personal duplicate of Michael Jackson at home.
  • TBH, I'd steer away from the 'Claymation' moniker because I'm absolutely convinced it was a trademark of a CGI company operating roughly ten years ago.

    I seem to remember that this company produced some impressive stuff (for the time) - if anyone has info about them now, I'd be much obliged....
  • It's very artificial to talk to somebody through a glass wall

    Watching p0rn too. Cant wait to feel those boobs...

  • ...imagine the spams you'll get. H0tt chixx clamationz! I don't want to think of what would happen if they started producing these in life size.
  • by isny (681711) on Friday June 17, 2005 @10:14PM (#12848962) Homepage
    Sounds like some strange combination of the T1000 from Terminator 2 and Gumby.
  • Copulation in the 'clay"? Figures the porn industry would rush to get involved in this.
  • Nano Dust ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, 2005 @10:18PM (#12848980)
    Professor Goldstein has envisioned that, eventually, the objects will be built with "nano-dust" - tiny objects that can be programmed to bind to each other and move - but currently they are trying to build at a much larger scale, working with objects the size of table-tennis balls.

    If he's going to try and invent "nano dust" (whatever that is) I think we're in for a long wait.
  • by pipingguy (566974) on Friday June 17, 2005 @10:18PM (#12848982) Homepage

    A fellow slashdotter told me about the boob mouse a few weeks ago. Since getting two, I haven't left the house. With this new innovation, I may never move from the computer chair.
  • Its a nano-waldo (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rufusdufus (450462) on Friday June 17, 2005 @10:25PM (#12849010)
    1) Take old idea []
    2) Pull some nano-clay out of your ass.
    3) Profit!!
  • Even if they 'automagically' re assemble every molecule, state, position and kinetic energy; there is no opportunity for the consciousness to be transferred.
  • Has anyone read Kiln People? (isbn 0765342618)

    well here is a brief summary (from amazon):

    Just about everyone's had a day when they've wished it were possible to send an alternate self to take care of unpleasant or tedious errands while the real self takes it easy. In Kiln People, David Brin's sci-fi-meets-noir novel, this wish has come true. In Brin's imagined future, folks are able to make inexpensive, disposable clay copies of themselves.


  • I really don't see this taking off for the same reason video phones don't take off (unless they figure out a way to use it for porn of course). Simply talking to the person over the phone is enough. You don't have to care about your visual appearance. I can sit around in my underwear if I feel like it. In a business meeting scenario seeing the other party is nice but for every day one on one I think the phone works fine.
  • Finally HatfulOfHollow from this conversation [] will get his wish.
  • Thinking this technology would only be used for video conferencing of all things is pretty naive. I'm sure we would see this applied to movies, video games, pr0n, and user interfaces. Who else can think of more ideas?
  • So this is it. The end of humanity is at hand. We'll finally have the Holodeck, and no more innovation, invention, or creativity will occur, ever. Why would it need to?

    Okay, before anyone jumps on me for this, no, I don't seriously think this will destroy humanity. It might seriously damage some marriages, and probably send a huge pile of money towards the porn industry, but humanity will be safe... until we have a computer capable of simulating any scenario we care to imagine, as well as provide us wi
    • So you subscribe to the theory that people only create for the gain of material goods?

      How then do you explain the huge numbers of people who create simply for the pleasure of creation? Why do people work in (say) scientific research when, by all accounts, it doesn't pay as well as doing something more practical? Why do people persist in writing novels when the average novelist earns substantially under average salary?

      I think the human creative impulse is more basic than this, and parallels the impulse t
  • Dangerous? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by RickPartin (892479)
    I'm assuming this device could create objects other than human beings. What are the dangerous of being able to project custom objects onto someone's desk? Could I for example stab someone when they came near the device? It will be interesting how they create safeguards.

  • If your clay self was giving a speech to a thousand people, would you yourself (in the other room) be nervous?
  • i can finally slap the person on the other end of my aim convos?
  • by eno2001 (527078) on Saturday June 18, 2005 @12:04AM (#12849349) Homepage Journal
    I hope these claythings are self cleaning. There's going to be lot's of Windows (exhibitionists), BSD (necropheliacs) and Linux (afraid of girls) fans wanting to get their hands on this technology. (I'm an equal opportunity offender) ;P
  • "Help me, Obi-wan Kenobi. You're my only hope."
  • "I for one welcome our Claymation Overlords..."
  • That's all they really need to say.
  • as though the clay can move itself.'."

    So we get some kind of digital golem []?

  • There was an interesting article, in New Scientist I think. Intel were the ones funding it. They basically said they could actually be building these things within a few years. These self-organizing particles could do things like pick up a battery and carry it around as a power source. They also said most of the work revolved around the algorithms to get basic autonomous units to self-organize.
  • now thats how we can send obi wan distres messages.
  • OK, so this whole story depends upon the ability to create the "magic^Wcomputational clay" that can magically^Wscientifically reform itself to mirror whatever the cameras look at.

    Sure, give me enough of this magic^Wcompuational clay and I can build a Holodeck.

    And while you are at it, why don't you give me some negative mass matter so I can build a stable wormhole.

    And I'd like about a hundred thousand kilometers of superconducting buckycables for a combination beanstalk/generator.

    And I'd like the Philoso
    • Until then, this whole story is just bullshit - low-grade sci-fi, not even worth the title of "speculative fiction", more on a par with a fourth-grader's "What if George Washington could turn himself invisible and had a robot friend".

      Didn't Philip K Dick write a story along those lines? ;)
  • by SEWilco (27983)
    It's bad enough already when one cleans a router, without also having a clay-like substance to deal with.
  • photoshop has done "minor" touch-ups on the following canadiates:
  • Princess Leia??!
  • Trolls *in your face*. Great. =8^P

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