I remember seeing this originally way back in the day – and I’m still a little baffled why this hasn’t caught on in the age of gigantic TV’s. Probably because head tracking isn’t exactly perfect just yet? While not as immersive as a full VR headset, this does provide a full vr experience without the headset, glasses, or any other intrusive headgear.
Johnny Chung Lee (at Carnegie Mellon at the time, now at Google) used the infrared camera in the Wii remote and a head mounted sensor bar (two IR LEDs), to accurately track the location of your head and render view dependent images on the screen. This effectively transforms your display into a portal to a virtual environment. The display properly reacts to head and body movement as if it were a real window creating a realistic illusion of depth and space. By Johnny Chung Lee, Carnegie Mellon University. For more information and software visit http://johnnylee.net
I just upgraded from the older HTC Vive to the Oculus Quest 2. The Quest’s wireless operation without needing all the cables and sensors around your room was a huge improvement. One big shortcoming, however, is the 1 meter USB-C cable. It is ok for charging, but far too short for using the PC connected VR Oculus Link functionality.
Shibuya is trying something interesting to deal with the annual gathering of Halloween revelers during COVID. They’re making the event, concerts, fan groups, color pages, and lots of other activities free online.
You can attend events for free online and even attend the festivities in VR:
Revelers soon started gathering in the neighborhoods around the train stations and the street parties grew and grew. Shibuya soon became one of the major stops for these festivities – and has grown to be the focal point. Unfortunately large amounts of trash, drunken disturbances and destruction have become all too common. Which is really unfortunate since it could be such a good chance for people to have fun and share some cross-cultural exchange.
DCS World is one of the most amazing flight simulators out there. The hyper reality and complexity of just getting your plane off the ground is well known. Modders and modelers sell hyper-realistic models for the game like the F/A-18C Hornet shown here. In the high-fidelity cockpits, literally every button/switch/knob is clickable. It’s not just for show either – people claim they can start up the real planes by learning it first in DCS.
One user has cleverly combined some augmented reality in their setup.
Nova is an “untethered VR motion simulator,” making virtual reality games and training programs feel more real by rotating in any direction. Their 5.9 foot diameter sphere, which has been compared to a “human-sized hamster ball,” weighs about 1,100 lbs and simulate vehicles of all sorts by being able to move 360 degrees in any direction.
These units are too expensive for the home gaming market, the company leases each Nova unit with ongoing maintenance and upgrades, at a cost of $150,000 US Dollars per year. Eight360 is working with defense forces, mining and forestry industries, where vehicles cost millions of dollars, accidents are a very big deal and training needs to encompass tilt angles.
As I have reviewed before, this is not done with greenscreens – but instead are projected backgrounds that are rendered realtime based on camera position. This solves almost all the visual problems created when using greenscreens.
As this highlight reel shows, their technique of combining projected, camera-tracked CG environments with live actors and props can be used for all levels of production, not just blockbusters.
I suspect we’re going to see some very interesting applications soon.
IMMERSIVE LIGHTFIELD VIDEO WITH A LAYERED MESH REPRESENTATION
I worked with a little bit of early lightfield photography back in the day. Looks like they’ve expanded and possibly found an interesting VR application. These researchers present a system for capturing, reconstructing, compressing, and rendering high quality immersive light field video.