3D multi-touch the next stage for augmented reality

July 18, 2010

We’ve been looking forward to 3D motion tracking since Tom Cruise showed off this cool feature in the film Minority Report. And we did see some initiatives that approached this futuristic feature rather closely.

Personally I am more than fascinated by the rapid development of this new technique. The secret is that the technique is actually there already… it’s just not as cool yet as we know from Minority report because we still have to view the images on screen but we’re getting there.

Now I guess you must be pretty curious to see some of this stuff in action right?

Ok, I’ll show you what I’m talking about…

1. 3D Headtracking Using Crazy Wiimote Hacking Business

This guy uses existing tech, on a “non-3D” TV, to make a better 3D experience than what we currently call 3D. Why hasn’t anyone made anything with this yet? Keep those videos coming, awesome mystery researcher guy.

2. Emotive’s Epoc Headset

Everyone wants a piece of Emotiv’s technology, which not only measures facial expressions, but affectiv and cognitiv signals as well. In short, it reads your mind.

Currently users have to “train” the headset to their way of thinking, similar to how you’d configure voice recognition software over a period of time. After teaching it what signals your brain sends out when it issues a “push forward” command enough times, it’ll eventually get it.

The man in this video is using his arms to help his brain generate what’s needed, but don’t mistake this for Kinect. The idea is, eventually you wouldn’t have to lift a finger.

It’s thought that children are the best users of Emotiv, given their more imaginative minds. But even though they’re mainly targeting gaming, the company has garnered widespread global interest, from the military to organisations helping the disabled.

3. 3D Motionscan

It seems like Team Bondi has been working on L.A. Noire since Michael Jackson was black, but lately some really interesting stuff has started to emerge. In partnership with Sydney company Depth Analysis, the new game will feature a technology called Motionscan which uses 16 3D cameras (32 total) to measure every movement of your face.

No dots, no paint. Just sit there, say your piece, and stick it in the game. Impressively, the tech seems to waltz right past the uncanny valley by incorporating an element of caricature in your avatar. It raises the value of proper acting in video games, and L.A. Noire will utilise this by requiring you, as a detective, to be able to tell if an NPC is lying to you.

Under-par storytelling has been a constant in the gaming world. Techs like this could be a major step in fixing that. There aren’t any videos available yet, but GamePro’s John Davidson wrote up his experience from E3.

4. 3D Multi-touch

Or check out this demo video by Greog Hackenberg where he demonstrates his 3D Multi-touch Prototype for Augmented and Virtual Reality. Greog: “In this video I demonstrate the 3D interaction prototype that I have developed during my Master Thesis at Fraunhofer FIT in Bonn, Germany. The system uses a depth sensing camera, which is based on the time-of-flight principle and measures phase shifts of a reflected infra-red signal. My contribution is the computer vision algorithm, the gesture recognition technique as well as the concept and implementation of the demo application.”

Future talk

It’s clear that we are not at the level of Minority Report but we’re getting there. If any of you have something to add to this story please do.

One comment

  1. You missed the video by YDreams… 😉

    This is real augmented-reality as the real image is mixed with the virtual one. The depth sensing camera allows the real object (the user or any other object) to collide with the virtual ones.

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