Microsoft has a follow-up to their Surface table, and CNET has a couple of articles about the Sphere. I'm not sure how useful this will be. We already have considerable experience with Science on a Sphere. Even with four projectors and a 2 meter diameter sphere, there are clear limitations to how much detail you can see on a SoS. And although it's great for global spherical maps, zooming in to view higher resolution doesn't really make sense in the context of the spherical topology.

The Sphere:

is similar to Globe4D but with the added bonus of direct interaction via a touch interface, (The Globe4D is manipulated by rotating the ball physically with your hands, while the imagery on its surface is projected from the top. The flat ring around its equator is another input device; turning it cycles through different images, e.g., the surface of the Earth through geologic time.) There is definitely a sense of trying to figure out uses for the device (hence Microsoft Research deciding not to commercialize this yet). The worst idea of all is showing omni-directional photography and video on the surface of the Sphere (sort of like a digital version of Dick Termes' art). As all fulldomers know, that is best done by projecting such imagery onto the inside surface of a dome!

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