Every gaming enthusiast dreams about an Oculus Rift – the one thing that can take the idea of any gaming experience into another dimension. Don’t say you never fantasized about an Oculus Rift. Even those who know nothing about gaming, I am sure, drool over the idea of the Oculus Rift.
This awesome headset that allows users to play in virtual 3-D worlds, are notching up a level (or two) by going to allow the facial expressions of the wearer to be captured and displayed on the face of an avatar for others in the virtual world to see- in real life. (my heart is literally throbbing.)
This addition will make any gaming experience more life like, enabling wearers to interact in altered reality, while still allowing the fantasy part of the avatar to take place.
This project, a collaboration of the researchers in the rift division with those at The University of California, have thought of a two part design- the first involved placing sensors in the foam padding that covers the forehead of a user wearing a headset, that allowed for capturing brow and some eye muscle movement. The second was a little less elegant, they attached a short adjustable boom to the headset which allows for a camera to be poised over the mouth, thus allowing for capturing movement. The data from both sensors is collected and analyzed by software running in the headset and which converts it to data that is sent to the avatar rendering component.
One point to mention is that this project is purely research oriented and the possibility of shipping the Oculus Rift with this added feature is a part of the distant future – before making the headsets more user friendly.
Also, it is also worth noting that in the current format, the system requires an initial 10 minute calibration process that requires the users to engage in facial contortions sans ace covering – and to wait again so that another much shorter calibration process is conducted before the user is ready to go.
Good days, fellow Gaming Beings, good days.