The PrimeSense Capri depth camera is small enough to be built into mobile devices and, coupled with Vuforia VR software, it creates new opportunities for games and serious apps.
Vuforia, Qualcomm’s smart VR platform, can do lots of clever things. It has object recognition so that it can locate 2D and 3D shapes in the scene. Now a new app called Smart Terrain shows off what it could do when coupled with a depth camera.
PrimeSense is the company who brought you the Kinect, via Microsoft of course. Microsoft now seems to have gone off on its own to create the depth camera for the newest version of the Xbox. PrimeSense has also been hard at work and the result is the Capri depth camera, which is small enough to be built into mobile devices.
SmartTerrain couples the Capri depth camera with Vuforia so that you can bring the real world into the virtual. In this example a table top is digitized and a 3D model is created in realtime. A physics engine is then used to animate the real word surfaces as part of the game. The example is of a tower game where tall shapes on the table attack the player with a range of weapons. At the end of the video a toy is digitized and then animated as part of the game.
Take a look - it is impressive:
Vuforia works by using pattern recognition techniques to localize objects in the scene. It then allows the programmer to position 3D models at the same location in the image. The depth camera is primarily a source of the 3D models, but using it means that you can get a broader mix of the real and the virtual.
The Vuforia SDK with support for Capri will be released some time early next year (2014). You can download the current Vuforia SDK after registering at the site.
Vuforia is based on the Unity game engine and works on a range of mobile devices including iOS and Android. The SDK allows you to create applications using Java, C++, Objective C and .NET.