According to Ben Humberston, software engineer at Facebook Reality Labs, we should all try virtual reality. “It’s difficult to explain [Codec Avatars] with 2D media,” he says. “You have a sense of presence with another person that kind of tabs into subconscious systems in a way that 2D media really doesn’t.” And with all the work and technology behind the scenes to make these avatars happen, I’d believe it.
“We have an array of cameras that surround a person, and with those cameras, using computer vision and machine learning techniques, you can actually reconstruct the full 3D representation of that person…even though your source image is a 2D camera image,” Ben explains. It’s like what our eyes do, apparently: receiving a 2D image and constructing our 3D reality. That’s the sort of technology Facebook is developing with the avatars, primarily destined for workplace applications at the moment.
Not just for the workplace…
On Globant’s end, we are working on VR applications for other industries as well. For instance, the world of education stands to gain a lot from technologies like this. Not only will it facilitate cost reductions, but also VR will catalyze the process of acquiring the kind of skills today’s students and employees will increasingly need. Globant’s VP of Technology, Matias Rodríguez, explains it this way: “Learning across soft skills and empathy, all of that could be reconstructed through this type of [VR] captures.” The technology has potential applications like “position[ing] people in certain conversations or scenarios where facial expressions and body language is important,” be it for learning or managing teams, teaching classes, or anything.
Remember the start of PokemonGo, how huge of a move that was for augmented reality? It’s fascinating to see the future of technologies like virtual reality, taking place here and now. Here’s the whole conversation between Ben and Matias for more of their insights.
Stay tuned as these techologies learn and improve every day. And take Ben’s advice: if you haven’t already, do give VR a try sometime. Think about its implications for the future of work, future of learning, future of environmentally-friendly tourism. You might just be amazed.
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