Mike previously created a mini holographic video system for his phone and thought it would be fun to translate that to a larger, collaborative system across computers.
What it does
Holo Kinect is intended to be a holographic video conferencing system. Each user will have their own mini hologram projecting the face of the person they're speaking to, enhancing the standard video conferencing system. The Holo Kinect app is a web app, downloadable on mobile devices, that makes it easy for users to set up their own holograms from anywhere!
How I built it
We bought a sheet of plexiglass from the local hardware store and using kinect, we filmed our prototype video to project onto the monitor. As a 3D webcam, the kinect records one video and we process this video into our app in C++. The app duplicates the video four times and rotates the images to each cardinal direction. Then, we project all images onto all four faces of the plexiglass pyramid. This technique creates the illusion of a hologram!
Challenges I ran into
After many failed iterations, our team settled on using kinect's webcam to serve as the camera. We tried Raspberry Pi cameras, DroidCam/phone cameras and even our computer's webcams. We spent a lot of time trying to configure the cameras correctly and only created a prototype of our app.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Although we weren't able to accomplish everything, we created an MVP we were all proud of. We prioritized what was important and continuously thought of new ideas to make Holo Kinect work.
What I learned
We learned how holograms actually work - we believed it had to be four separate cameras on the same image, rather than one camera transposed four times. We also learned how hard it was to connect the camera's image to our web application.
What's next for Holo Kinect
Finalizing the Holo Kinect app and user experience!