28.11.16

Microsoft offers first look at Holoportation

A video released by Microsoft Research has expanded upon the HoloLens demo the company showed last summer. Now called Holoportation, it creates holograms from live video, by using multiple 3D cameras to capture a subject from all angles. The video even shows the tech working in a moving car.

The video shows the technology being used outside of a studio and into a moving car, making Holoportation a truly mobile solution. 

To accomplish this, Microsoft reduced the bandwidth requirements by 97%, while still maintaining quality.

In a blog posted on the Microsoft website, the company said: "The bandwidth required by Holoportation has been reduced to 30-50 Mbps.  This allows us to use Holoportation in a moving vehicle, as long as we are within WiFi range.  We will be moving to cellular data soon!

"We chose this scenario for two reasons.  First, the automobile is viewed more and more as a technology platform rather than simply a means of transportation.  Second, this is a very challenging scenario.  It requires solving many of the engineering hurdles encountered in building a volume consumer product.

"The system only requires two cameras capable of capturing depth information to create a 3D representation of an object.  However, the more cameras we have, the better the quality of the 3D model.

The greatest challenge was bandwidth, which we reduced by 97% using an innovative approach to compression.  Other challenges included changing lighting and background, vibration, and reducing the compute footprint to fit in a vehicle."

One drawback of the system in its current form is that users can’t see other people using the technology unless they are wearing a HoloLens unit, and users can’t make eye contact with people who are wearing the AR headset. To see another person’s holographic face, users have to take off the headset.