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3 Kinects and One Oculus Makes Awesome Augmented Reality

While virtual reality has recently exploded, its little cousin, augmented reality, hasn’t seen much advancement as of late. For the uninitiated, virtual reality, or VR, involves taking a person and putting his or her perception into a virtual environment, typically by use of a headset. The Oculus Rift has breathed new life into VR, which was believed to have died a long, long time ago.

Augmented reality (AR), on the other hand, involves taking real-time imagery of the real world and adding things to it. For example, an AR game could take in live video of a person’s living room and output that same footage on a television with certain things overlaid, such as lava pits on the floor that players must avoid falling into.

While AR has a rough road ahead, it’s seeing some interesting advancements. Youtube user Okreylos has has combined the input from three Kinects in order to create a 3D version of his room.

Check out the video here:

While Kinects have been used for 3D capture in the past, Okreylos has done something rather interested- he has uploaded the same video formatted for Oculus Rift users. In fact, in the above video, he’s looking around the virtual space of a real room using an Oculus Rift- the possible applications are both terrifying and fascinating.

Looking outside of gaming applications, the Oculus Rift already has a laundry list of other potential applications. Could augmented reality teleconferencing be one of them? Using real time 3D capture technology, for example, a person could take a virtual trip to a real Tesla factory and see a new car inside and out before deciding to buy. The possibilities for commerce, education and exploration are endless and, right now, staring us in the face. Augmented reality has gone on neglected for far too long. Perhaps ultimately, its future rests with virtual reality? Perhaps.

For now, I’m just waiting to play The Floor is Lava in a digitized version of my living room.

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