Microsoft’s DreamWalker imagines a world where you don’t have to leave virtual reality

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You know how it is: You want to get from point A to point B but you’ve seen everything on that route before. Or perhaps you’re just bored with reality. Microsoft’s DreamWalker hopes to help there. DreamWalker is a wearable VR system concept designed to be used in the real world, offering another view of the world while also not letting you step into traffic. Hopefully.

Living the Dream(Walker)

Basically, DreamWalker is a VR system that lets its users walk through the real world without actually having to look at any of it. In the video above you can see what that might look like yourself. Rather than Microsoft’s rather picturesque campus, the user is wandering a fairly populated city street. Populated, it looks like, by the NPCs from Grand Theft Auto 3. But with far fewer jackasses sitting on rooftops firing rockets at passing cop cars (we hope).

According to Microsoft, “To keep the user from colliding with objects and people in the real-world, DreamWalker’s tracking system fuses GPS locations, inside-out tracking, and RGBD frames to 1) continuously and accurately position the user in the real world, 2) sense walkable paths and obstacles in real-time, and 3) represent paths through a dynamically changing scene in VR to redirect the user towards the chosen destination.”

Since this is a Microsoft Research product, it’s not destined for commercial release — at least in its current from. It’s more a test of untethered VR usage, which may find itself becoming more common in future. Imagine leaving your home, getting into an autonomous vehicle (that you don’t own), and travelling to the office… all without leaving the virtual world you happen to be exploring. That’s the sort of future that DreamWalker is attempting to explore here. We’ve gotta say, we’re a little intrigued

Source: Microsoft Research

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