HoloLens, Kinect and Telepresence

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Description

Today's project brings together a couple projects we've highlighted in the past, building what looks like an awesome HoloLens app...

Building a Telepresence App with HoloLens and Kinect

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When does the history of mixed reality start? There are lots of suggestions, but 1977 always shows up as a significant year. That’s the year millions of children – many of whom would one day become the captains of Silicon Valley – first experienced something they wouldn’t be able to name for another decade or so.

The plea of an intergalactic princess that set off a Star Wars film franchise still going strong today: “Help me Obi-wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope.” It’s a fascinating validation of Marshal McLuhan’s dictum that the medium is the message. While the content of Princess Leia’s message is what we have an emotional attachment to, it is the medium of the holographic projection – today we would call it “augmented reality” or “mixed reality” – that we remember most vividly.

While this post is not going to provide an end-to-end blueprint for your own Princess Leia hologram, it will provide an overview of the technical terrain, point out some of the technical hurdles and point you in the right direction. You’ll still have to do a lot of work, but if you are interested in building a telepresence app for the HoloLens, this post will help you get there.

An external camera and network connection...

Using the HoloLens-Kinect project ...

Be one with The Force

Another thing the Kinect is very good at is gesture recognition. HoloLens currently supports a limited number of gestures and is constrained by what the inside-out cameras can see – mostly just your hands and fingers. You can use the Kinect-HoloLens integration above, however, to extend the HoloLens’ repertoire of gestures to include the user’s whole body.

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Quaternions

Quaternions are to 3D programming what midichlorians are to the Star Wars universe: They are essential, they are poorly understood, and when someone tries to explain what they are, it just makes everyone else unhappy.

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king at point cloud data

To get even closer to the Princess Leia hologram message, we can use the Kinect sensor to send point cloud data. Point clouds are a way to represent depth information collected by the Kinect. Following the pattern established in the previous examples, you will need a way to turn Kinect depth data into a point cloud on the desktop app. After that, you will use shared services to send this data to the HoloLens. Finally, on the HoloLens, the data needs to be reformed as a 3D point cloud hologram.

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HoloLens shared experiences and beyond

There are actually a lot of ways to orchestrate communication for the HoloLens of which, so far, we’ve mainly discussed just one. A custom socket solution may be better if you want to institute direct HoloLens-to-HoloLens communication without having to go through a PC-based broker like the sharing service.

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Project Information URL: https://blogs.windows.com/buildingapps/2017/04/18/building-telepresence-app-hololens-kinect/



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