It shouldn't be surprising that many innovative developments are coming out of universities -- in fact, an entire section of Eureka Park, the part of CES dedicated to startups, showcased the work being done in academia. For example, the University of Southampton in the UK was showing two interesting tech projects: CurveStar, a way to light objects to be photographed efficiently and in great detail, and SharkStream, a way to achieve full-body motion capture wirelessly over long distances.
CurveStar (see the photo above) uses a collapsible geodesic lighting system to provide a flexible way to illuminate every facet of an object. According to a representative, the positioning and strength of the lighting can be controlled so precisely (using both the physical system and software) that small details, such as the texture of a piece of cloth, can be easily perceived.
Motion capture is the process of recording the movement of a human being (or other real object) for use in digital form, such as video games or movies. SharkStream, according to its developers, takes motion capture the next step, using two separate radio bands to allow the transmitters worn by the subject to send their data up to 250 meters away. This would allow motion capture software to, for example, follow an athlete running a track.
Both of these technologies are still in development.