This Dev's Awesome Kinect + HoloLens Hack Lets Him Control a Hologram's Entire Virtual Body
It's no surprise that the Microsoft Kinect can provide far better motion tracking than the HoloLens currently can on its own, but at least one developer didn't want to wait for the company's own eventual implementation. Kyle G, founder and CEO of Wavelength Studios, projected his movements using a Kinect into a holographic zombie.
You can see Kyle's latest progress in the video above. Compare that with his video below on tracking spheres and you'll quickly see how far he's come.
Mixed reality doesn't just involve putting digital objects in our environment—it needs to understand us and our movements as well. The HoloLens requires a shallow learning curve, thanks to only having two core interactions—air tap and bloom—but that simplicity is also one of its shortcomings. Moving naturally and having the headset understand those more human gestures will allow for a more realistic and immersive experience.
The HoloLens is a remarkable piece of hardware that clearly has the components necessary to track more complex gestures (which is evident even with our limited knowledge of the device), so perhaps a software update will expand our options. We've already seen that the HoloLens is capable of more complex tracking than those gestures imply in this highly simplistic but promising drone control demo.
Either way, Microsoft is already working on better motion tracking. We know it's coming, but it seems like a hardware solution that will require an additional purchase, or that will find its way into a future generation of the HoloLens. After all, Microsoft wants to take its time and get the HoloLens experience right.
However, that may not matter. Kyle isn't alone in his Kinect experimentation. Many see the potential and have already put it to good use. Digital agency Razorfish has been hard at work to utilize the Kinect for HoloLens motion capture. They even made a mixed reality soccer game with the pairing. Other developers like Vangos Paterneas and companies like Valorem Consulting have begun development in this area as well.
The HoloLens signals a major leap in the technological capabilities available to us today, but it'll take time to get right. With so many inspired developers finding ways to push mixed reality forward, complex motion capture will clearly be a part of it through the Kinect (and other tools as well).