A video has been posted showing an impressive mixed reality concept from the winner of an internal hackathon at hand-tracking company Leap Motion.
Wearing a VR headset, the demonstration shows a pass-through stereoscopic view of the real world using a prototype “Dragonfly” sensor module and the company’s public software development kit. Using hand gestures and a mouse, the setup allows the user to see the real world and pull windows out of a traditional monitor, watch a Youtube video and dim the lights.
The company posted some details back in January charting educated guesses about the technology in upcoming generations of VR headsets, including some details about the “Dragonfly” module that’s key to the concept. Leap Motion writer Alex Colgan also posted some details about the demo on Reddit.
John Carmack’s New VR scripting Language
The chief technology officer at Oculus is working to create a scripting language for virtual reality. This would enable developers to test changes to their code without having to constantly stop their work to recompile and copy the latest version to their device, something that is currently a painful step with the Gear VR. The Software Development Times wrote about about the effort and, if you’re a programmer, the Google+ discussion about it might be worth reading.
“I have a not-so-large number of hours that I can possibly devote to this before it needs to stand on its own and provide real value to other developers, which means that it needs to be built on, and leverage, existing systems, warts and all,” John Carmack wrote.
“I'm only three weeks into this project. Give me a little more time to change the world. :-)”
Grants Available; Entries Accepted For VR Awards
Microsoft is offering five awards of $100,000 each to universities and research institutions in the United States in an effort to jumpstart HoloLens development. Two headsets are included with each award. Proposals should seek “to better understand the role and possible applications for holographic computing in society.” Microsoft suggests areas of interest might include data visualization, training, communication, experimental media and psychology. The deadline for submissions is Sept. 5 and awards will be announced in October.
Meanwhile, Social VR startup High Fidelity “will be awarding up to three $5,000 grants” to people who use the platform to create something that can be experienced by more than three people together, is appropriate for high schoolers and is focused on science, technology, engineering and math education. Descriptions and concepts are due by the end of July.
Also, submissions are being accepted through July 15 for the second annual Proto Awards, a VR awards ceremony modeled on the Oscars. There’s a $50 submission fee for non-student entries. The ceremony will be held Sept. 22 alongside Oculus Connect. It is open to any VR experience “made available for public download between Sept. 20, 2014 and July 15, 2015.”
Microsoft Research posted a video mashing up a depth camera, mixed reality, and Microsoft Paint to show a person marking objects and surfaces in a room using simple gestures, which could make “labeling, segmenting and learning from the 3D world around us a fun and interactive process.”
“We see a user simply touching a surface, issuing a voice command ‘label floor’ to interactively segment and label the surface or object in question.”