Meet Holoportation – Microsoft’s Tech Will Let You Jump Right Into The Action
Have you ever dreamed of teleporting into some other person’s personal space? A new technology developed by Microsoft might make your sci-fi fantasies come true in the near future.
You may have heard about the HoloLens, Microsoft’s hardware contender into the field of augmented reality (AR), where objects seem to float in real space. But there has been little word about a cool feature of the HoloLens, dubbed “Holoportation”. Read on to know what Holoportation brings to the table for Microsoft and for the entire AR industry.
In Microsoft’s terminologies, Holoportation is “a new type of 3D capture technology that allows high-quality 3D models of people to be reconstructed, compressed and transmitted anywhere in the world in real time. When combined with mixed reality displays such as HoloLens, this technology allows users to see, hear, and interact with remote participants in 3D as if they are actually present in the same physical space. Communicating and interacting with remote users becomes as natural as face-to-face communication.”
Basically, this feature gives you the opportunity to step into someone else’s reality as a full-sized, three-dimensional hologram. What this gives is the ability for the user to interact with someone from the other side of the world – quite literally – but still being able to see the projection of that person in the same space. This is seen to be very useful for business meetings, or even for personal, intimate, one-to-one conversations over Skype, for example.
Holoportation is opening up a new world of opportunities for people to connect with others with an addition of a personal touch. And it’s not quite far for the technology to reach the masses.
What powers Holoportation is a new 3D capture system developed by Microsoft Research. A series of cameras are set up around a room, tracking shapes and movement and stitching a 3D model together in real time. The necessary data is then compressed and transmitted to a headset like the HoloLens, which can show the motion-captured figure as if it’s really in the room.
The system has a few other tricks up its sleeve too: audio can be included together with the 3D video; sessions can be recorded and played back at a later date; and the holoported feed can be shrunk down to a smaller size.
Speaking and interacting with friends, family, and work colleagues could become almost as natural as it is when you’re face-to-face – except for the fact that everyone involved has to have a pretty bulky AR device strapped to their head (at least for now). In the future, where AR devices could get slimmer as time progresses, communicating with anyone remotely could get as fluid as a personal interaction.
There are various approaches to holographic images that are being developed, including a way to project without the use of glasses. However, Microsoft’s new technology is notable in how advanced and stable it already is, even if extra hardware is required to achieve it.
Holoportation is just one of many potential uses for the HoloLens and other AR headsets like it. Microsoft has previously shown off how the device can bring interactive games into your living room and project a large flat screen of any size on to the wall for you to enjoy movies on.
Early developer versions of the HoloLens are already being sold to developers for a hefty price tag of $3,000. Although AR tech might take a while to reach the masses, the future of communication lies heavily in the promise of augmented reality and virtual reality technologies. And Holoportation is just a glimpse of what is yet to come in the exciting future.
For more information on the Holoportation technology by Microsoft, please visit the following websites: