Reality Skins

Reality Skins: Creating Immersive and Tactile Virtual Environments

Lior Shapira, Daniel Freedman

To be presented ISMAR 2016


Reality Skins enables mobile and large-scale virtual reality experiences, dynamically generated based on the user’s environment. A head-mounted display (HMD) coupled with a depth camera is used to scan the user’s surroundings: reconstruct geometry, infer floor plans, and detect objects and obstacles. From these elements we generate a Reality Skin, a 3D environment which replaces office or apartment walls with the corridors of a spaceship or underground tunnels, replacing chairs and desks, sofas and beds with crates and computer consoles, fungi and crumbling ancient statues. The placement of walls, furniture and objects in the Reality Skin attempts to approximate reality, such that the user can move around, and touch virtual objects with tactile feedback from real objects. Each possible reality skins world consists of objects, materials and custom scripts. Taking cues from the user’s surroundings, we create a unique environment combining these building blocks, attempting to preserve the geometry and semantics of the real world.

We tackle 3D environment generation as a constraint satisfaction problem, and break it into two parts: First, we use a Markov Chain Monte-Carlo optimization, over a simple 2D polygonal model, to infer the layout of the environment (the structure of the virtual world). Then, we populate the world with various objects and characters, attempting to satisfy geometric (virtual objects should align with objects in the environment), semantic (a virtual chair aligns with a real one), physical (avoid collisions, maintain stability) and other constraints. We find a discrete set of transformations for each object satisfying unary constraints, incorporate pairwise and higher-order constraints, and optimize globally using a very recent technique based on semidefinite relaxation.

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