Microsoft’s augmented reality (AR) headset HoloLens is becoming more useful every day and it hasn’t even been released yet, the developers edition is due next month. The latest mind blowing use for the Buck Rogers helmet (headset) is teleportation, or rather holoportation. A name that unintentionally blends holodeck (and HoloLens too) with teleportation, two of our favorite Star Trek technologies. Luckily it’s also a very accurate description of the technology.
Through the magic of technology Holoportation allows two disparate people to share their presence, to communicate. Sending your live image (avatar) instantly over vast distances you can now appear to be in the room with your friends and visa versa, as long as you are all wearing HoloLens AR headsets.
As with all magic what you don’t see is more important than what you do see. The HoloLens headset and 8 souped up Kinect cameras are obvious. What you don’t see however is the very clever number crunching going on behind the scenes.
Upon closer inspection of the video you may notice the image being teleported looks rendered, it is. In each holoport once the entire scene is captured it is converted into 3D models and the interesting bits transmitted and rendered. Microsoft apparently still have a lot of work left on intelligently deciding which parts of the scene are transmitted but this is only a software issue. All of this mind you adds up to it being a while before we can holoport in the comfort of our living rooms.
The way we communicate is rapidly evolving and the holoport may just be an indicator that the evolution isn’t going to slow down anytime soon. Also included below is the Holoportation to Mars video, a stunning demonstration that probably would have looked better in VR on the latest Oculus, still cool though.