Our interconnectedness is as high as it has ever been. The internet, our cell phones, games, Skype –they have all contributed to the way we communicate today. Even though it is very fast, we still interact through some form of rectangular window. What if we wouldn’t be limited to those windows anymore? What if we could see and talk to our distant friends just by putting on special glasses?
That’s what SocialXR (social extended reality) is about. Using virtual and augmented reality, we aim to bring people together in a photorealistic environment. Your friends are not represented as avatars, as with Facebook Spaces or AltspaceVR, but as real-time recordings of themselves. You just need consumer-grade hardware and you can visit your distant friends, in VR, whenever you want!
I am Karim El Assal and I’ve worked at TNO since I received my master’s degree in Computer Science about a year ago. My focus is primarily on building proof of concepts, whether it is a gaze-based VR video player or an Android app that visualizes in AR what obstacles a car ‘sees’ in his surroundings. Relating to SocialXR, we – the Networks department of TNO – research what is necessary to support the real-time streaming of volumetric user captures. Do we simply need more bandwidth? Better compression? Or is it sufficient to minimize the amount of data sent over the network? What do you think?
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