It’s one thing to bring your mind into virtual reality. Get some snazzy VR goggles in front of your eyes, bump the framerate up high enough — bam, you’re a good part of the way there.
But bringing your body into the mix? Thats a whole different challenge. Crack that one, and you’ve got yourself a holodeck.
It’s far from perfect (even as a spectator) but developer Oliver Kreylos [via Kotaku] has managed to pipe a super-glitchy, yet totally passable rendition of himself into his lil’ VR world. How? He took three Kinects, placed them carefully around his room, and pushed the combined video feeds through an algorithm that reconstructs a model of his body.
The system has its faults — it’s fuzzy from the start, and freaks out pretty hard a few minutes in when one of the Kinects gets jostled. But, with a bit a polish… is this a glimpse of the way the VR setups of the not-so-distant future will work?
Probably not. Even if you solve challenges like wires dangling around and bumpable cameras, you’ve got one huge, rock-hard challenge left: walls. With the Oculus mostly blinding you to the real world around you, you’d need something like a gym-sized room (or one of those goofy run-in-place treadmills, which, if we’re being honest, few will buy) to avoid smashing into walls every few seconds. I’d bet on virtual reality primarily being a sit-down experience for quite some time.