/ News


Microsoft Researchers Are Working on Multi-Person Virtual Reality

Augmented or mixed reality, which renders virtual images in a view of the real world, can be spectacular to experience. But it may be even more fun when you bring a friend.

Researchers in the Microsoft lab of Jaron Lanier are experimenting with multi-person augmented reality, and the results of their work could help shape the way the technology is commercialized and used. Lanier was a pioneer of virtual and augmented, or mixed, reality in the 1980s.

Microsoft is testing a commercial augmented reality product, called HoloLens. Lanier stresses that his work is separate from HoloLens and does not reflect how that product will develop. Still, multi-person mixed reality is a long-standing challenge for those interested in the technology. Beyond gaming, there is hope that virtual and augmented reality could prove useful for communications, collaboration, and for new ways of accessing and handling information.

Lanier’s project is called Comradre (and pronounced “comradery”). A video produced by Lanier’s lab shows several projects developed by student interns in which more than one person interacts with the same virtual object or phenomena. These headsets were made using smartphones and laptop computers, and the tracking of a person’s head movements are performed using external sensors. And most of the footage was shot through one of the headsets.

One of Lanier’s students, Andrea Stevenson Won, wears a headset developed in his lab at Microsoft.

The video shows a number of experimental applications developed for the platform. Andrea Stevenson Won of Stanford University is testing the social implications of the technology with a system that highlights physical interactions with virtual effects. Judith Amores and Xavier Benavides from the MIT Media Lab created a way for real-world blocks to correspond with virtual objects and animations, offering a way for children to play in mixed reality, even if not everyone is wearing a headset.

Other students in the group created more utilitarian uses. Andrzej Banburski of the Perimeter Institute for Advanced Physics, for example, developed a tool for visualizing mathematical equations. And Kishore Rathinavel, from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, created a system that allows sound waves to be detected and then shown visually. In one scene from the group’s video, the sound produced by Lanier’s flute playing is shown in mixed reality. Two other students, Victor Mateevitsi, at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Gheric Speiginer of Georgia Tech, were also part of the group.

Both augmented reality and virtual reality—which provides a completely immersive experience—are currently hot areas of research and commercial development at several major technology companies. Facebook, Google, and Sony are all developing headsets and software for virtual reality. Meanwhile, a company called Magic Leap has raised more than $500 million in funding to develop a convincing form of augmented reality using holographic technology (see “Breakthrough Technologies 2015: Magic Leap”).

Microsoft demonstrated HoloLens last week at an event held for the launch of Windows 10, the latest version of its computer operating system. The demo showed an experimental game, called Project X-Ray, in which a player sees robots burst from a wall, and can shoot them using a handheld accessory.

The HoloLens videos show virtual objects generated on the fly and added to the video footage. So they are not a completely faithful representation of what a person sees through the headset. The field of view in a HoloLens headset, for instance, is actually relatively narrow, meaning virtual objects only appear directly in front of the wearer.

Speaking of Lanier’s project, Jeremy Bailenson, founding director of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, says the key problem with creating virtual experiences for more than one person is tracking movement. “The critical aspect for multi-person virtual reality is that you have to track everybody’s movements very accurately in their own scene,” he says.

Bailenson believes that some form of virtual reality will prove especially useful for communications. And he says Microsoft is doing very good work with both HoloLens and its research. “Jaron is the guy to do this,” he adds. “He’s been thinking about this for decades.”

Source: http://www.technologyreview.com/news/542341/microsoft-researchers-are-working-on-multi-person-virtual-reality/

/ About us

Founded by Russian entrepreneur Dmitry Itskov in February 2011 with the participation of leading Russian specialists in the field of neural interfaces, robotics, artificial organs and systems.

The main goals of the 2045 Initiative: the creation and realization of a new strategy for the development of humanity which meets global civilization challenges; the creation of optimale conditions promoting the spiritual enlightenment of humanity; and the realization of a new futuristic reality based on 5 principles: high spirituality, high culture, high ethics, high science and high technologies. 

The main science mega-project of the 2045 Initiative aims to create technologies enabling the transfer of a individual’s personality to a more advanced non-biological carrier, and extending life, including to the point of immortality. We devote particular attention to enabling the fullest possible dialogue between the world’s major spiritual traditions, science and society.

A large-scale transformation of humanity, comparable to some of the major spiritual and sci-tech revolutions in history, will require a new strategy. We believe this to be necessary to overcome existing crises, which threaten our planetary habitat and the continued existence of humanity as a species. With the 2045 Initiative, we hope to realize a new strategy for humanity's development, and in so doing, create a more productive, fulfilling, and satisfying future.

The "2045" team is working towards creating an international research center where leading scientists will be engaged in research and development in the fields of anthropomorphic robotics, living systems modeling and brain and consciousness modeling with the goal of transferring one’s individual consciousness to an artificial carrier and achieving cybernetic immortality.

An annual congress "The Global Future 2045" is organized by the Initiative to give platform for discussing mankind's evolutionary strategy based on technologies of cybernetic immortality as well as the possible impact of such technologies on global society, politics and economies of the future.


Future prospects of "2045" Initiative for society


The emergence and widespread use of affordable android "avatars" controlled by a "brain-computer" interface. Coupled with related technologies “avatars’ will give people a number of new features: ability to work in dangerous environments, perform rescue operations, travel in extreme situations etc.
Avatar components will be used in medicine for the rehabilitation of fully or partially disabled patients giving them prosthetic limbs or recover lost senses.


Creation of an autonomous life-support system for the human brain linked to a robot, ‘avatar’, will save people whose body is completely worn out or irreversibly damaged. Any patient with an intact brain will be able to return to a fully functioning  bodily life. Such technologies will  greatly enlarge  the possibility of hybrid bio-electronic devices, thus creating a new IT revolution and will make  all  kinds of superimpositions of electronic and biological systems possible.


Creation of a computer model of the brain and human consciousness  with the subsequent development of means to transfer individual consciousness  onto an artificial carrier. This development will profoundly change the world, it will not only give everyone the possibility of  cybernetic immortality but will also create a friendly artificial intelligence,  expand human capabilities  and provide opportunities for ordinary people to restore or modify their own brain multiple times.  The final result  at this stage can be a real revolution in the understanding of human nature that will completely change the human and technical prospects for humanity.


This is the time when substance-independent minds will receive new bodies with capacities far exceeding those of ordinary humans. A new era for humanity will arrive!  Changes will occur in all spheres of human activity – energy generation, transportation, politics, medicine, psychology, sciences, and so on.

Today it is hard to imagine a future when bodies consisting of nanorobots  will become affordable  and capable of taking any form. It is also hard to imagine body holograms featuring controlled matter. One thing is clear however:  humanity, for the first time in its history, will make a fully managed evolutionary transition and eventually become a new species. Moreover,  prerequisites for a large-scale  expansion into outer space will be created as well.


Key elements of the project in the future

• International social movement
• social network immortal.me
• charitable foundation "Global Future 2045" (Foundation 2045)
• scientific research centre "Immortality"
• business incubator
• University of "Immortality"
• annual award for contribution to the realization of  the project of "Immortality”.

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