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National Runner Up

ReverseCAVE: Providing Reverse Perspectives for Sharing VR Experience

We believe the reason why VR or Virtual Reality cannot be popularized, is because “VR experience can only be enjoyed by people wearing the head mounted display or HMD.” To solve this problem, we propose “ReverseCAVE” a system which enables people to share VR experience to non-HMD people.

What it does

We believe the reason why VR or Virtual Reality cannot be popularized, is because “VR experience can only be enjoyed by people wearing the head mounted display or HMD.” To solve this problem, we propose “ReverseCAVE” a system which enables people to share VR experience to non-HMD people.


Your inspiration

Head mounted display (HMD) is rapidly spreading as a device for experiencing virtual reality (VR). However, VR with HMD is closed experience among those who are experiencing the VR, and can only be individually experienced by the specific person. We call this “Perspective gap.” These perspective gaps exist in many situations (e.g., VR games in a game show, between actors and observers in a motion capture studio, and telepresence in a conference). According to Biocca and Levy, sharing VR with friends and family is more enjoyable. However, VR experiences are only for people with HMD. This problem interrupts spreading of VR entertainment.


How it works

We use a CAVE styled cubic screen surrounding the player to share VR experience to share VR experiences and solve the perspective gap problems. The VR environment that the player is experiencing is projected onto the screens. The screens are translucent thus the player can be seen from the observer. By this, the observer can see both the physical player and the VR environment experienced by the player. Also, in the motion capture system, when viewing the actor from the observer outside of ReverseCAVE, the character is superimposed to the actor. This makes it looks as if the actor is the character from the observer. ReverseCAVE is the system to realize fully continuous VR environment by physically fusing VR world and the real world.


Design process

The equipment we use to demonstrate the proof of concept is as follows. As a screen we use a white mosquito net which is a traditional Japanese furniture. Mosquito net is a translucent roughly knit cloth with resin fiber (about 0.2 mm diameter). It is a material that diffusely reflects images moderately, and can be looked over the other side. We created a cubic screen by using the mosquito net as the five faces. By using this screen, we can simultaneously see the images projected on the screen while watching the player inside the cubic screen across the screen. Also we acquired high-intensity short focus projectors. The resolution is 1920 x 1080, and the brightness is 4,000 lm. These projectors are installed on the 4 outer side of each face of the cubic screen. As a result, images of different image sources can be projected synchronously on the four outer surfaces of the cubic screen.


How it is different

Many systems have been proposed for covering perspective gaps, such as a method that composes the VR environment and player by image processing that can be viewed on a display, a method that uses a white screen as the player's background and projects the player's first person perspective, and a method that displays superimposed images using Microsoft HoloLens. ReverseCAVE is clearly different from other methods in the point that it can make the VR environment appear in the real world as it is. By this, it is possible to synthesize the VR environment with the VR players in the real world, and the observer in the real world can recognize and interact with them. Our system has several advantages: 1)the viewpoint of the observer is free; 2) the player is immersed in the VR environment; 3) the system can be built using only a screen, projectors.


Future plans

In the 2016 Summer Olympics closing ceremony, AR stage effects attracted a lot of interest. However, people can experience this AR effects through only TV, and surprisingly, people at the stadium could not see it. We thought very this sort of problems on AR/VR must be solved. ReverseCAVE is the system to realize fully continuous VR environment by physically fusing VR world and the real world. We will use ReverseCAVE system as public viewing at VR game shows, consumer electronics retailers, and other various entertainment situations. By this, Attraction of VR spreads to consumers, and we envision that VR experience to everyone.


Awards

SIGGRAPH 2017 Student Research Competition Semi-Finalist VR Creative Award Finalist


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