Kinect Cameras And Oculus Rift Used To Create A Real-Life Holodeck
A researcher at the University of California has succeeded in creating a prototype of a virtual reality 'holodeck'. Utilizing three Kinect cameras and an Oculus Rift headset, Oliver Kreylos has successfully implanted a 3D visualization of himself into a virtual reality space.
Although the quality of the image is incredibly low resolution and the technique is far from reliable, the end product is still pretty impressive. By positioning the three Kinect camera sets in an equilateral triangle, Kreylos ensures he is able to accurately capture a rounded image of the subject, which in this case, is himself. Using the 3D Kinect cameras, Kreylos is able to upload the image into an Oculus Rift headset which places it into a virtual reality environment.
Apart from the obvious, what's so cool about this is the fact that Kreylos can actually see himself in the first person as he is wearing the Rift headset. Using a similar technique with something slightly more powerful than a trio of first generation Kinect headsets could yield some pretty mind-blowing results. However, despite the grainy and quite frankly freaky quality of the imaging, Kreylos says that when wearing the headset, it still feels incredibly real.
"One of the things we've noticed since we started working with 3D video to create 'holographic' avatars many years ago was that, even with low-res quality 3D video, the resulting avatars just feel real, in some sense even more real than higher-quality motion captured avatars," said Krylos on his blog. "I believe it's related to the uncanny valley principle, in that fuzzy 3D video that moves in a very lifelike fashion is more believable to the brain than high-quality avatars that don't quite move right."