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This Smart App Makes HoloLens Room Scanning a Game All on Its Own

Complex games in mixed reality require a pretty detailed scan of the room, and getting this process right can be both time-consuming and annoying. Computer science students at the University of Washington decided to fix that by turning it into a game.

It's hard to know exactly where to look to give a mixed reality headset the information it needs about your room. Sometimes you can stare at objects endlessly and it simply won't capture the data a particular game or app requires.

As you can see in the video above, students turned required room scanning into a game itself by hiding virtual orbs in holographic space that you have to locate. While it does feel like a game, it's actually a room-scanning process that collects the necessary data without the player fully realizing it. The data can then be used by other holographic apps to avoid repetitive scanning measures.

The gamified room-scanning process might not seem all that fun on its own—but it was designed for a group. Multiple players can search for orbs and a winner is chosen based on who found the most. It's almost like a simplified holographic version of Splatoon, when you look at the renderings, as the winning scanners color more of the room.

As mixed reality technology progresses, we'll likely see faster and more accurate room scanning that doesn't require much effort from the user. Nevertheless, we're not there yet, and it's highly encouraging to see developers—especially on the student level—create an elegant solution to this annoying problem before headsets even hit the consumer market.

Cover image via Aleksander Holynski/YouTube

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