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Microsoft Shows Off Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Demo at SXSW

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Ever wondered what it would be like to come face to face with yourself? Well, it might not be too much longer until you can find out.

Digital artists/wizards James George and Alexander Porter got together with Microsoft and Oculus VR, the people behind the upcoming Oculus Rift, to make it happen – a virtual reality encounter with yourself. At the Microsoft Studio at SXSW, a demo booth was erected which would scan bodies and beam them into the virtual world, recreating them digitally along with animations.

The booth was outfitted with four Kinect sensors attached to four Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLRs, which would perform a complete scan of your body in motion. The Kinect specializes in picking up movement, while the DSLRs get the color details right, combining to create an accurate digital representation of you.

Then, you don the Oculus Rift. For the uninitiated, the Oculus Rift is the latest and greatest attempt at getting virtual reality right – except now, it’s backed by technology powerful enough to make truly compelling virtual worlds. This tech demo at SXSW is proof of that – once the Oculus Rift goes on, you can see your digital clone doing whatever movements you were doing during the scanning process in a number of scenic locations.

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Of course, this was just a tech demo, but like all good tech demos, it should give us a good idea of what’s to come in the future. In the near term, look to Kinect Sports Rivals for the Xbox One, in which you can use your single Kinect to scan yourself into the game – without the DSLRs, the details won’t be nearly as crisp, but it’s a step towards what was on display at SXSW. Once the Oculus Rift actually arrives, the creators of the demo suggested a future where the world of movies and video games collide – with you as the star of the show.

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