With AR in the spotlight thanks to the runaway success of Pokemon Go, many heads might be turning towards Microsoft's HoloLens, the AR headset that lets users see 3D holograms in the living room. Though a consumer version might be a long way off, Microsoft is trickling out details about how its partners are experimenting with the dev kit. Legendary Pictures shows off what its been up to in a new video, bringing movie characters to life as holograms.
While gaming will no doubt be part of the eventual HoloLens ecosystem, Microsoft appears to want its AR system to be more versatile and lifestyle-oriented, pinning virtual notes around the house or allowing holographic video calls.
Legendary's use of the system brings to mind the techniques used in those video calls. With a ring of synchronized RGB and infrared cameras in a green screen room, the studio is able to capture a full 3D animated model of an actor, and produce a video that's viewable from any angle. Seen through a HoloLens, a user can walk completely around the character and, to an extent, interact with it. The same effect can be achieved with a fully CG character too, using the model's 3D data.
"Microsoft HoloLens lets us bring characters from the worlds we create into the real world," says Emily Castel, Legendary's Chief Marketing Officer. "Our fans get to interact and have fun with our characters in a completely new way, giving them a unique experience they can share with their friends through video and social media. This is exciting for us, and for the creators we work with."
In the video below, users are able to take characters from movies like Warcraft and Pacific Rim, place them in their real-world environment, record their actions and create mixed reality movies that can then be shared around social media.
The idea is a cool one, but may be a little pie-in-the-sky at the moment. Still, taken as a tech demo, it might be worth letting yourself get a tiny bit excited about what's on the horizon for HoloLens.