DreamWalker: Substituting Real-World Walking Experiences with a Virtual Reality

User Interface Software and Technology (UIST) 2019 |

Organized by ACM

We explore a future in which people spend considerably more time in virtual reality, even during moments when they walk between locations in the real world. In this paper, we present DreamWalker, a VR system that enables such real world walking while users explore and stay fully immersed inside large virtual environments in a headset. Provided with a real-world destination, DreamWalker finds a similar path in a pre-authored VR environment and guides the user while real walking the virtual world. To keep the user from colliding with objects and people in the real-world, DreamWalker’s tracking system fuses GPS locations, inside-out tracking, and RGBD frames to 1) continuously and accurately position the user in the real world, 2) sense walkable paths and obstacles in real time, and 3) represent paths through a dynamically changing scene in VR to redirect the user towards the chosen destination. We demonstrate DreamWalker’s versatility by enabling users to walk three paths across the large Microsoft campus while enjoying pre-authored VR worlds, supplemented with a variety of obstacle avoidance and redirection techniques. In our evaluation, 8 participants walked across campus along a 15-minute route, experiencing a virtual Manhattan that was full of animated cars, people, and other objects.

DreamWalker: Substituting Real-World Walking Experiences with a Virtual Reality

We explore a future in which people spend considerably more time in virtual reality, even during moments when they walk between locations in the real world. In this paper, we present DreamWalker, a VR system that enables such real-world walking while users explore and stay fully immersed inside large virtual environments in a headset. Provided with a real-world destination, DreamWalker finds a similar path in a pre-authored VR environment and guides the user while real walking the virtual world. To keep the user from colliding with objects and people in the real-world, DreamWalker’s tracking system fuses GPS locations, inside-out tracking, and RGBD frames to 1) continuously and accurately position the user in the real world, 2) sense walkable paths and obstacles in real-time, and 3) represent paths through a dynamically changing scene in VR to redirect the user towards the chosen destination. We demonstrate DreamWalker’s versatility by enabling users to walk three paths across the large Microsoft campus while enjoying pre-authored VR worlds, supplemented with a variety of obstacle avoidance and redirection techniques. In our evaluation, 8 participants walked across campus along a 15-minute route, experiencing a virtual Manhattan that was full of animated cars, people, and other objects.

Behind the Scenes with Microsoft: VR IN THE WILD

Behind the Scenes: Microsoft's Principal Researcher Eyal Ofek speaking about technical and social perspectives of XR The XR Bootcamp Open Lecture Series continues with Microsoft's Principal Researcher Eyal Ofek! Virtual Reality (VR) & Augmented reality (AR) pose challenges and opportunities from both a technical and social perspective. We could now have digital, and not physical objects change our understanding of the world around us. It is a unique opportunity to change reality as we sense it. The Microsoft Researchers are looking for new possibilities to extend our abilities when we are not bound by our physical limitations, enabling superhuman abilities on one hand, and leveling the playfield for people with physical limitations. Dr. Ofek will describe efforts to design VR & AR applications that will adjust according to the user’s uncontrolled environment, enabling a continuous use during work and leisure, over the large variance of environments. He will also review efforts to the extent the rendering to new capabilities such as haptic rendering. His lecture will be followed by a Q&A session where you can ask all your questions about the topic. Lead Instructors: Eyal Ofek is a principal researcher at the Microsoft Research lab in Redmond, WA. His research interests include Augmented Reality (AR)/Virtual Reality (VR), Haptics, interactive projection mapping, and computer vision for human-computer interaction. He is also the Specialty Chief Editor of Frontiers in Virtual Reality, for the area of Haptics and an Assoc. Editor of IEEE Computer Graphics and Application (CG&A). Prior to joining Microsoft Research, he obtained his Ph.D. at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and has founded a couple of companies in computer graphics, including a successful drawing and photo editing application and developing the world's first time-of-flight video cameras which was a basis for the HoloLens depth camera. This event is part of the Global XR Bootcamp event: The Global XR Bootcamp 2020 will be the biggest community-driven, FREE, online Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality event in the world! Join us on YouTube or AltspaceVR for a 24 hour live stream with over 50 high quality talks, panels and sessions. Meet your fellow XR enthousiasts in our Community Zone, and win amazing prizes - from vouchers to XR hardware. YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_X7sFAfU-20&feature=emb_logo