The Laval Virtual Show, which took place in mid-April, is an opportunity to discover the latest innovations in the world of virtual and augmented reality, but also to get a glimpse of what the future of these technologies could be.
The craze around the metaverse has brought virtual reality back into the spotlight, while social networks like TikTok and Snapchat have democratized augmented reality with their own filters. This wave of popularity and curiosity is a dream come true for niche companies hoping to open new channels of communication with their technologies.
Play with multiple people in the same 1000m space2
In recent years, virtual reality games have been making their way into arcades and amusement parks. Some specialized rooms even appeared. However, he is generally a single player.
This is changing, especially with the HTC Vive Focus 3. On the Laval Virtual Show, the Taiwanese company claimed that its latest virtual reality headset allows up to twelve people to participate in the same game within a 1,000-meter space.2. Something to reinvent where virtual reality is in arcades, or even think of other uses such as escape games.
Volumetric video for more realism
In virtual reality, there are two schools: those who are not afraid to use overly simplified graphics and those who prefer realism. For the latter, it’s hard to create hyper-realistic characters without falling into the valley of the stranger, i.e. that uneasy feeling when facing a robot or avatar that looks a lot like a human while being distinctly different.
To obtain realistic facial expressions and animations, volumetric video is one of the solutions, that is, to photograph a person from all angles not to obtain 2D images, but to obtain a 3D model. The company 4DViews, based in Grenoble, specializes in this technology already used for music videos or for virtual reality experiences.
Volumetric video can also be used in Holoport. This Portmanteau, made up of a hologram and teleportation, consists of photographing yourself with a special camera to become a hologram. Thus, people who wear mixed reality goggles have the impression that the person being photographed at a distance is in the same room in which they are.
HoloForge of Purdue has already thought of several mass transit applications. For individuals, it is primarily about combating the isolation of the elderly by allowing them to discuss face to face with their families, even if they live far away. For businesses, this technology can be used for immersive presentations. Last October, NASA used blanket scanning technology for telemedicine consultations aboard the International Space Station.
Hybrid headphones, so you don’t have to choose
Augmented reality, mixed reality, and virtual reality require different hardware. Will this always be the case? The Parisian company Lynx does not agree with this opinion, because its helmet allows you to do everything. On the show, opinions were divided between incorporating these technologies into one helmet or using different specialized helmets. In truth, it is likely that these models will eventually coexist, just as the integration of cameras into smartphones does not prevent the commercialization of cameras.
What these various innovations show is the importance of the human factor in this sector, whether in ease of use in a multiplayer game, in the realistic representation of people or in the abolition of distance and isolation. Far from received ideas that would see these technologies as a way to escape from the real world.
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