Microsoft HoloLens Gathers an Audience With Spectator View
Microsoft's Mixed Reality Capture technology can be used to record what the user is seeing from a first-person perspective giving audiences a taste of the HoloLens experience.Microsoft is making it easier for HoloLens users to share their mixed reality experiences with a group. The HoloLens headset can layer interactive 3D imagery on top of the physical world, but by its very nature, it's somewhat of a solitary affair. While the company's Mixed Reality Capture (MRC) technology can be used to record what the user is seeing from a first-person perspective, the resulting video may be unsteady and contain jittery head movements that make it tough to watch. Instead of issuing a HoloLens augmented reality (VR) headset to each onlooker—a pricey proposition considering that it costs $3,000 a piece—Microsoft has devised a spectator view camera system that works in tandem with the device to show audiences what the wearer is seeing from another vantage point. Schematics and instructions on building one is available at GitHub. "A spectator view camera will allow your audience to do more than just see what you see when wearing a HoloLens," wrote Microsoft principal program manager Brandon Bray in a Feb. 13 blog post. "Yes, it allows others, who aren't wearing HoloLens, to see the holograms you would see if you were wearing the device, but it also allows you to see what the people wearing HoloLens are doing and how they are interacting with their mixed reality experience."
Microsoft uses a similar setup when it stages HoloLens demonstrations in front of audiences. Although a spectator view camera can be put together in less than a day, it requires at least two custom components. (A complete materials list is available in this GitHub project page.)