Holoportation, the groundbreaking 3D telepresence technology, is now even easier thanks to Azure Kinects. This technology enables high-quality 3D models of people to be reconstructed, compressed, and transmitted anywhere in the world in real time. When paired with mixed reality displays such as HoloLens, holoportation allows users to see, hear, and interact with remote participants as if they were physically present in the same space, making remote communication as natural as face-to-face interaction.

The new holoportation system utilizes Azure Kinects for depth and RGB capture, providing some of the highest quality depth data of any RGB+D sensor available. The Azure Kinect Developer Kit (DK) is a developer kit and PC peripheral that uses artificial intelligence sensors for computer vision and speech models, connected to Microsoft Azure cloud. It is the successor to the Microsoft Kinect line of sensors, boasting a 12-megapixel RGB camera and a 1-megapixel depth camera.

Holoportation has achieved remarkable feats, including functioning in a moving vehicle within Wi-Fi range, thanks to a bandwidth reduction of 30-50 Mbps. However, it is crucial to note that this technology is intended for use by a passenger in the back seat, with no interaction with the driver.

The automobile scenario was chosen for two reasons. Firstly, automobiles are increasingly considered technology platforms rather than mere transportation. Secondly, this challenging scenario requires overcoming numerous engineering obstacles to develop a consumer product.

To create a 3D representation of an object, the holoportation system requires a minimum of two cameras capable of capturing depth information. Nevertheless, the more cameras used, the higher the quality of the 3D model. The most significant challenge in making holoportation mobile was bandwidth, which was reduced by 97% using a novel approach to compression. Other hurdles included changing lighting and background, vibration, and minimizing the compute footprint to fit inside a vehicle.

Users can view remote participants in the holoportation system using a head-mounted display (HMD) like the HoloLens or HTC Vive, allowing them to see, hear, and interact with holoported individuals in real-time.

Holoportation technology has the potential to revolutionize remote communication and collaboration by creating a more immersive and natural experience. As the technology continues to advance, we can expect to see even more innovative applications in various industries, from business to entertainment.

Read more about it at Microsoft’s micro-site here.