The Microsoft Research team is working on a project called DreamWalker, which enables a person to be fully immersed in a virtual world even while walking in the real world. More specifically, it’s a method for allowing people to safely navigate a given route in real-world environments, like walking to work, all the while seeing themselves strolling a different VR world, such as a city or location of their choosing. Read more for a video and additional information.
Using geolocation data, DreamWalker plans the real-world path and corresponding virtual environment in advance and then updates it in real-time when necessary in the uncontrolled outdoor environment. Sensing technologies record potential obstacles the user encounters while in the VR system, which consists of a dual-band GPS sensor, two RGB depth cameras, and a Windows Mixed Reality-provided relative position trace. Obstacles in the real world are then replaced with virtual objects, while digital markers will help guide you safely.
Discovered obstacles that may move or appear in users’ paths are managed by introducing moving virtual obstacles, or characters, such as pedestrians walking near users, to block them from any potential danger. Other options for controlling users’ paths may include pets and dynamic events such as vehicles being parked, moving carts, and more, limited only by the imagination of the experience creator,” said the team in a blog post.