What is a Microsoft Dreamwalker ?


2 min read

We explore a future in which people spend considerably more time in virtual reality, even during moments when they walk between locations in the real world. In this paper, we present DreamWalker, a VR system that enables such real world walking while users explore and stay fully immersed inside large virtual environments in a headset. Provided with a real-world destination, DreamWalker finds a similar path in a pre-authored VR environment and guides the user while real walking the virtual world. To keep the user from colliding with objects and people in the real-world, DreamWalker’s tracking system fuses GPS locations, inside-out tracking, and RGBD frames to 1) continuously and accurately position the user in the real world, 2) sense walkable paths and obstacles in real time, and 3) represent paths through a dynamically changing scene in VR to redirect the user towards the chosen destination. We demonstrate DreamWalker’s versatility by enabling users to walk three paths across the large Microsoft campus while enjoying pre-authored VR worlds, supplemented with a variety of obstacle avoidance and redirection techniques. In our evaluation, 8 participants walked across campus along a 15-minute route, experiencing a virtual Manhattan that was full of animated cars, people, and other objects. 



DreamWalker: Substituting Real-World Walking Experiences with a Virtual Reality

We explore a future in which people spend considerably more time in virtual reality, even during moments when they walk between locations in the real world. In this paper, we present DreamWalker, a VR system that enables such real-world walking while users explore and stay fully immersed inside large virtual environments in a headset. Provided with a real-world destination, DreamWalker finds a similar path in a pre-authored VR environment and guides the user while real walking the virtual world. To keep the user from colliding with objects and people in the real-world, DreamWalker’s tracking system fuses GPS locations, inside-out tracking, and RGBD frames to 1) continuously and accurately position the user in the real world, 2) sense walkable paths and obstacles in real-time, and 3) represent paths through a dynamically changing scene in VR to redirect the user towards the chosen destination. We demonstrate DreamWalker’s





Behind the Scenes with Microsoft: VR IN THE WILD

Behind the Scenes: Microsoft's Principal Researcher Eyal Ofek speaking about technical and social perspectives of XR The XR Bootcamp Open Lecture Series continues with Microsoft's Principal Researcher Eyal Ofek! Virtual Reality (VR) & Augmented reality (AR) pose challenges and opportunities from both a technical and social perspective. We could now have digital, and not physical objects change our understanding of the world around us. It is a unique opportunity to change reality as we sense it. The Microsoft Researchers are looking for new possibilities to extend our abilities when we are not bound by our physical limitations, enabling superhuman abilities on one hand, and leveling the playfield for people w