Express yourself in VR with High Fidelity

AUTHOR: Inavate

Within a couple of years people will be able to interact in virtual worlds more naturally as cameras and sensors translate their real world movements and expressions to their virtual counterparts. This is the prediction of Philip Rosedale who has created the startup High Fidelity, a platform for virtual worlds where people can meet, interact and do business.

His systems utilise motion and infrared sensors to track head and hand movement while a 3D camera logs the facial expression and eye movement of the user.

If Rosedale’s name is familiar it’s for good reason; he created one of the best-known online virtual worlds, Second Life, which boasts one million regular users.

While predicting that the applications of High Fidelity would be very wide in range, Rosedale said his creation could spell a new way that employees could work together.

Outlining his vision at the Exponential Finance conference in the summer, he said: “Just imagine if the rather painful, unpleasant but utilitarian experience of video conferencing became something that was genuinely fun and immersive. “The impact could be profound; rather than avoiding these tele-meetings or using them strictly for utility, they will become something that people will seek out. That means you will get these new forms of meetings.
“Because people will enjoy spending time there, remote employees within your company are going to establish new trust and rapport meaning that they can negotiate deals and do things with each other that you can’t do today at a distance.”

Prototypes use an Oculus Rift headset with motion sensors to track head movements and an infrared sensor to track hand positions. A 3D camera – of the type that will be available in consumer computing in the near feature - on the laptop in front of the user tracks expressions and eye position.