The ghost howls

A blog of virtual reality, startup and stuff



How to use Riftcat VRIdge with Kinects: ImmotionRoom Iridge server

A lot of time ago I described you how cool is VRIdge, the solution that makes you play SteamVR games using a cheap Cardboard or GearVR headset. I love VRidge, not only because it allows people to lower the entry point for playing VR experiences (a Cardboard is surely cheaper than a Vive), but also because it is made by very kind people (I’ve interacted with them and I can assure you that these Polish guys&girls are really fantastic).

Some times ago I wrote a tutorial on how to use VRIdge with Kinect and it got its success. Reason is that of course Cardboads can’t offer the positional tracking owned by Vive, so VRIdge users can supply it with other sensors, like Kinects for instance. Tutorial highlighted some issues in this process, since it required some dev skills (one of the required program doesn’t work on standalone, but needs to be run inside Eclipse!) and it used very rough programs. Since we at Immotionar work with Kinect and VR from almost three years, me and Gianni asked ourselves: why can’t we fix this issue? And we did it.

kinect v1 htc vive vr
Me, doing funny things with a 3-kinects setup

Now you can use VRIdge with Kinect using ImmotionRoom solution, in particular using its Iridge server. What are advantages of this solution? Continue reading “How to use Riftcat VRIdge with Kinects: ImmotionRoom Iridge server”

What I think about full body virtual reality

I just wrote a mega-article on Medium talking about how I started working with full body virtual reality, why I think it is important and what are current solutions to implement it. If you have some minutes spare… well, take a read of it! You can find it here. (There of course I say that our full body VR solution using Kinect is the best possible… what else could I say? ;))

Of course your opinion is super important for me… so let me know what you think about it and what you think about full body virtual reality in general!

How to use Kinect with HTC Vive

When I talk about the full body virtual reality system ImmotionRoom that we’re developing at Immotionar, the first question that people asks me is always “Why Kinect? Kinect is dead”. I’ve already answered to this question, explaining that yes, it is slowly dying, but Kinect is still the best off-the-shelf infrared body-tracking sensor that we can find on the market (due to the mega-training samples fed to its algorithm). So, while we hope that other competitors like Orbbec and VicoVR will reach its quality level, we have still to use it… and this is the same reason why lots of research projects still employ the kinect.

But then there is another important question people make me: “I’m a Vive user… and Vive and Kinect interfere a lot. I like your videos about full body virtual reality, but I will surely not be able to use it…”

Well, let’s be honest: this is true. Continue reading “How to use Kinect with HTC Vive”

The difference between Kinect v2 and v1

Yesterday we of Immotionar have announced the support of Kinect v1 for our full-body virtual reality system. To implement it, I had to work with this sensor, after more than 2 years of work with only the v2 version. A curious fact is that i had never worked with Kinect v1 before, I started directly with the v2… so I made the path in the reverse way of all other people. But… how are this sensors different?

Well, first of all if you look at them, Kinect v2 seems a more refined version of Kinect v1, but its defect is that it is bigger and has lots of annoying cables and power converters, while Kinect v1 is surely more lightweight and easy to carry and to install.

About technical specifications, this chart found on the great blog Zugara is a good resumée:

A great comparison chart of the difference between the two Kinects (Image by Zugara)
A great comparison chart of the difference between the two Kinects. The only missing thing is that both Kinects now are fully working on Windows 10 (Image by Zugara)

Continue reading “The difference between Kinect v2 and v1”

Is Kinect dead?

At Immotionar, we try to give full body avatar to the user using external sensors. At the moment we use Microsoft Kinect v2 for our prototype and the question that all people ask us is:

Why do you use Kinect, if Kinect is dead?

Well, I’m actually getting bored of answering this question… and that’s why I’m writing this post to provide a complete answer to it. And being Halloween, talking about dead things is the right topic for today 😉

So, is Kinect dead?

Microsoft Kinect ghost
During the nights of full moon, you can see the ghost of a 3-legs Kinect in the forest

Well, the answer is not so easy. Continue reading “Is Kinect dead?”

The Disruptive Technologies Conference

I’m proud to announce that we of ImmotionAR, with the help of some sponsors and some friends of Gianni’s (that are Microsoft MVP like him) are organizing a super-cool conference here in Turin, Italy about new disruptive technologies! We’ll talk about virtual reality and will showcase our full-body VR solution ImmotionRoom

There will also be another cool guy showing VR + mind control (uuuh) and three speeches about Hololens, with people actually taking Hololens devices there (and I hope they’ll make me try it!).

If you’re in Italy, come and see us! See agenda and registration info here. It can be a great occasion to talk about AR and VR together! If you’re not from Italy, share this event to let other people know!

How to use VRidge with Kinect

Yesterday I’ve told you what VRidge is and wrote a review about this cool product that lets you use virtual reality PC experiences with your Cardboard mobile headset.

Today I want to focus on one of its features: the ability to use a Microsoft Kinect to emulate positional tracking of the headset: this way you can have what mobile headsets really lack, that is the positional tracking, the room-scale functionality. The system works in a very simple manner: they use the head position detected by the Kinect as the position of the headset in the virtual world, in a way very similar to what we do in our ImmotionRoom solution. But how to make it work? And is it really working well? I’ll try to answer these questions in this article.

UPDATE: I’ve written a new article that offers a more elegant way of using VRidge with Kinect using ImmotionRoom system. You can find it here. Otherwise, go on to keep reading on how to use the standard way involving opensource software like OpenTrack.

Continue reading “How to use VRidge with Kinect”

AltspaceVR: first impressions

Hello everyone! Friday we spent the whole day doing trials of our new virtual reality game. After a whole day of work, every normal person would have gone home, but since I’m a nerd and not a normal person, I felt the need to try AltspaceVR.

But… what is AltspaceVR? It’s a new virtual reality social platform… some kind of Second life. In AltspaceVR you can meet other people, organize and attend events (like watching a football match all together with other people, or making interviews with people, like the head of Leap Motion) and do other kind of activities. Lots of different inputs are supported (mouse+keyboard, but also Leap Motion, Kinect, etc…), as well as different headsets (Oculus, GearVR, etc…). They got lots of attention from the virtual reality ecosystem and with that, shitload of investment money (eeh, I’m such envious…) Continue reading “AltspaceVR: first impressions”

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