Real-Time 3D Holographic Video Chat Made Possible by Kinect

Written By Sam on 11 January 2011
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Oliver Kreylos is known for being one of the first Kinect Hackers. He achieved fame by connecting two Kinects and calibrating the devices to ensure perfect synchronization of one video data stream from two streams of only one object, synthesizing 3D views. This holographic potential is further exploited by putting together two of such Kinect sensors, a virtual office and a Nintendo Wii controller to make possible 3D live holographic video chat.

Rather than being stereoscopic 3D it is a malleable 3D The Kinect device uses sensors and cameras to create a genuine 3D view of the environment. This means that one can move the viewpoint and still retain the 3D effect. There will be a blind side since Kinect cannot see behind the object and this can possibly be worked around by using more Kinect devices. This is, of course, a vast improvement over conventional stereoscopic 3D in which two 2D images from different angles are stitched or integrated together so that a viewer has a view of different images in each of his eyes giving a 3D effect with the drawback that the 3D view is available only from the angle from which the object was originally photographed.

As regards the real time holographic video chat system, two Kinect cameras capture one participant. A customized compression algorithm and network protocols using lossless compression with Hilbhert curve traversal and run length and delta encoding for the depth stream and a Theora video codec for the other color stream were used in conjunction to stream the 3D video data through the internet to the recipient. Bandwidth used is 750 kbps per Kinect camera.

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