March 28, 2016 weblog
Microsoft spreads word on holoportation: look who's by your side
The year was 2012 and the concert crowd was dazzled, amazed. Even for an anything can happen Coachella event this was mind-boggling. An image of Tupac had come on stage, so real, that seemingly the artist had returned to life to perform alongside live hip-hop artists.
The audience was getting its taste of the technology of images projected on to reality and, as we know with all the anticipation surrounding HoloLens, the future of images projected onto realtime environments seems closer than ever.
Recently, a Microsoft Research presentation made the public even more cautious as to where all this technology is going. They are not kidding when they say we are soon to step back from the 2D world of pixels and monitors into something new, in the way we communicate with others.
Microsoft Research is talking about their technology project work in holoportation—virtual 3D teleportation in realtime.
Shahram Izadi, partner research manager, was the presenter in a recently published video about it.
He asked us to imagine being able to teleport from one space to another —the other remote person is wearing his HoloLens device and you wear yours. You see each other in full 3D—interacting in realtime as if the two of you were in the same room. The remote person, when asked, walked around the presenter's chair in the video, for example. They both did a very convincing High-Five hand gesture.
To make all this happen, said Izadi, they had to create a new type of 3D capture technology. Holoportation is that new type of technology; it allows 3D models of people to be reconstructed, compressed and transmitted anywhere in the world in realtime.
With HoloLens, the company's augmented reality headset, users can see, hear, and interact with remote participants in 3D as if they are actually present in the same physical space.
It is not difficult to imagine that the interactions with remote users appearing as if they were in the same space as ours will be natural in this manner in the future. Blogged Microsoft's Alex Kipman: the future where that type of interaction is possible is not so far away. HoloLens represents concepts so much more than a product, he said, in that it is about the ability to overcome space and time to create meaningful connections with other humans.
Or, as Bryan Menegus in Gizmodo advised, slapping everyone in arm's distance to make sure they are real. "This new technology by Microsoft Research uses 3D motion capture and Microsoft's HoloLens mixed reality hardware," he said "The technology can be used live, but you can also create 3D recordings that can be scaled and played back at will."
Ubergizmo's Adnan Farooqui said it was a step forward but "This is far from a consumer product right now. A significant amount of hardware is needed to make this happen, not to mention computing power, and it will take some time before such a solution can be made suitable for the mass market."
HoloLens is fully untethered and self-contained. It's the only device that enables holographic computing natively with no markers, no external cameras, no wires, no phone required, and no connection to a PC needed, said Kipman.
Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition is to ship March 30. Microsoft Build, the developer conference, begins soon, and tech watchers anticipate getting more HoloLens news at that time.
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