Beam Me Up: Microsoft’s Holoportation Provides Real-Time AR Experience


Microsoft Holoportation AR

Microsoft’s latest research project—Holoportation—has the potential to deliver on every fan’s “Beam me up, Scotty” fantasy.

Microsoft’s I3D research group has created the tools to build a live hologram placing one person in another room. A massive network of 3D cameras captures the movements and speech of a person in one room, and projects it in real-time through a HoloLens so a user in a separate room can see and interact with them.

This video features the $3,000 augmented reality system as the network gathers data fused together to construct a “temporally consistent model.”

“This is almost like reversing through time,” said partner research manager Shahram Izadi, in The Daily Mail. “If I wear my HoloLens device, it’s almost like walking into a living memory.” Izadi added it’s a “magical” way of experiencing memories and interactions with loved ones.

Microsoft Build, the massive developer conference, kicks off next week and invitees were told to place their orders for the augmented reality goggles that start shipping this week.

“It’s been over a year since we saw our first demonstrations of HoloLens, and presumably Microsoft plans to find a way to release a consumer edition soon,” reports The Verge. “Interactions like this one probably won’t be in the cards for a while, if only because it requires too much hardware to pull off. But pretty soon we’ll begin to see what researchers and developers who don’t work at Microsoft can think up.”

CNET suggests, “The next evolution of Skype may be hologram meetings.”

In the Holoportation demo, Izadi Interacts with his daughter Lilly, who is not wearing a HoloLens and cannot see him—and she nearly walks through him at one point.

“So there’s a design problem here that headsets can’t readily solve,” notes Digital Trends. “But it’s still a remarkable example of what sort of tech we’ll have access to in the future, and it’s particularly cool to see the recorded conversation played back, and even shrunk.”