Upload VR has the scoop on a pretty impressive* demo from Jim Reichert, a Senior Creative Technologist at Microsoft, streaming a 360 view of Second Life into his company's upcoming augmented reality HoloLens glasses:
Jim Reichert, a Senior Creative Technologist at Microsoft, flagged this up to me as he’s a huge fan of Second Life, an online, multiplayer social virtual world, and was excited when last week the first 360 video footage was recorded in the SL Metaverse, featuring Jo Yardley’s authentic rebuild of 1920s Berlin... The result you see in the test at the top of this article is therefore 360-degree footage, which had been recorded live in a virtual environment (Second Life) and then projected back onto the augmented reality (AR) gear, superimposing it, in real time, with the real-world background of Jim’s office. And if that doesn’t make your head hurt just a little bit, you’re not doing it right.
This is accomplished by a very clever hack which uses six video feeds pointed in six opposite directions from the same spot in SL, which are then stitched together and subsequently squirted into the HoloLens display. As a tech demo, this is exceedingly cool -- however, as a demo of HoloLens or Second Life, it's somewhat confusing. (Hence the "head hurt" part.) As an UpLoad VR reader points out:
The entire point of AR / MR is to *fuse* virtual realities / holograms with physical realities / architecture. *IF* this person was in the Berlin train station modeled, accurately geo-tracked, and matched to real world geometry, that would be far more compelling... however, it appears that they're in an office, with no physical relation to the projected movie.
So this would be much more a killer app of HoloLens if Jim was walking around in modern day Berlin, cutting back and forth between that reality and Berlin of the 1920s. (But then again, I'm not sure Second Life in particular could accomplish that, due to difficulty matching 1:1 scale with the real life buildings, not to mention low frame rate and slow rendering.) That said, I can definitely see new, custom-made SL locations which exactly replicate the size and architecture of a real world location would work well in a HoloLens demo. It doesn't even have to replicate the actual content of the location. For instance, what if someone created a demon-strewn dungeon with the exact layout of Jim's office, and streamed that onto his HoloLens?
* Update, 8/19: Actually, Jo Yardley blogged it first.
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