Microsoft’s DreamWalker VR aims to revolutionise your daily commute
Web Log: Project substitutes real-world walking experiences with a virtual reality
DreamWalker can detect depth and height as well as obstacles in real time so you’re not going to collide with a building or smack into another pedestrian
What if you could walk to work without having to see dreary grey buildings or rubbish-strewn streets? You could float along in a virtual reality bubble of your favourite holiday destination or even fictional landscape (albeit with the wherewithal not to walk into traffic). Microsoft research is working on this with DreamWalker, a project described as “substituting real-world walking experiences with a virtual reality”.
Currently, it is in testing and requires a VR headset combined with a dual-ban GPS phone and a GPU backpack computer. It can detect depth and height as well as obstacles in real time so you’re not going to collide with a building or smack into another pedestrian. The video is worth a watch but currently it is contained within a research campus where the user can only take a few pre-programmed routes.
It’s not hard to imagine the difficulties of living in a VR bubble. “This looks like a great way to get mugged haha,” commented one YouTuber.
The route is laid out using a visualisation technique, one of which is called Pacman due to the line of yellow orbs floating ahead of you. The creepiest nav guide are the humanoids. They walk silently alongside, quickening their pace if you do so. It looks like you’re walking in a small, determined mob minus the pitchforks. Anyway, welcome to the future.