Research On More Interactive AR Video Concentrates on Pokemon GO

    Although Pokémon GO is a fantasticly popular augmented reality (AR) videogame, the length of interactivity that it can stretch to isn’t too far. A research team has been looking into how Interactive Dynamic Video (IDV) can enhance our experience with AR applications, with Pokémon GO in particular.

    The researchers from Massachusetts’s Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed this new technique, IDV, which allows users to reach in and touch objects and manipulate them through your phone, or whatever device you are using.

    “This technique lets us capture the physical behavior of objects, which gives us a way to play with them in virtual space,” says CSAIL PhD student Abe Davis, who will be publishing the work this month for his final dissertation. “By making videos interactive, we can predict how objects will respond to unknown forces and explore new ways to engage with videos.”

    The team has concentrated on the implications it could have for Pokémon GO, saying that “in contrast to how the popular Pokémon GO app can drop virtual characters into real-world environments, IDV can go a step beyond that by actually enabling virtual objects to interact with their environments in specific, realistic ways, like bouncing off the leaves of a nearby bush”.

    “The ability to put real-world objects into virtual models is valuable for not just the obvious entertainment applications, but also for being able to test the stress in a safe virtual environment, in a way that doesn’t harm the real-world counterpart,” says Davis.

    Davis hopes that other applications will come of this, like new forms of VR: “When you look at VR companies like Oculus, they are often simulating virtual objects in real spaces,” he says. “This sort of work turns that on its head, allowing us to see how far we can go in terms of capturing and manipulating real objects in virtual space.”

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