Computers are getting very good at looking at a picture and telling us what's in it. In fact, they're getting so good that researchers are starting to turn their gaze skywards and bellow to the heavens, "Is that all you've got?!"

As it turns out, there is something new to tackle: the third dimension.

Arguably, being able to describe scenes in the real world is much more important than just being able to describe a single picture. I'm sure the reason we haven't seen more research done on this problem really just comes down to the crushing amount of data you'd need to process.

When computer vision algorithms learn to recognise something, they're trained by being given thousands of examples. With images, that amounts to gigabytes or terabytes of data, but full 3D scenes make that number jump up several orders of magnitude.

Ahh, but the beautiful thing about computing is that our ability to process information increases exponentially over time, so even if it's several thousand times harder, I have a feeling it will be less than a decade before we're in this position again, asking for an even harder problem. Hey, maybe we could throw time into the mix to make it four dimensions.