I Need Your Clothes Your Boots and Your Motorcycle
In 1984, James Cameron’s Terminator hit the silver screen, giving audiences a taste of the future. In the movie, the cybernetic Terminator was able to perform facial recognition, measure distance and length, and track heartbeat. Now a cult-classic, it inspired a group of engineers at TNG Consulting to build Terminator Vision, a working prototype of the Augmented Reality vision demonstrated in the movie. Armed with an Oculus Rift and an Intel RealSense Camera, Martin Fortsch and his team went about building a comparable AR and if that wasn’t impressive enough, they built in in a single day.
Martin was a speaker at the VR With the Best Developer Conference, where he explained his working prototype of his AR Terminator device.
Analyzing. . .
The Terminator Vision device was built by attaching two webcams and an Intel® RealSense Camera. Putting on the Rift, the webcams detail the world in the signature Terminator red of the movies. The Rift SDK makes short of work of this functionally by handling most of the complexity normally required when handling dual cameras.
A third camera – an Intel RealSense infrared camera is mounted on top of the Rift and is used to perform a variety of measurements used in the Terminator Vision’s functionality. Again, most all of the functionality is easily implemented using the RealSense SDK, which means that you don’t need to be an expert in facial recognition, infrared or augmented reality to build a project like this.
POSSIBLE RESPONSE: Yes/No
The Terminator Vision has several main capabilities: distance and length measurement, facial recognition, and heart beat detection. These are all implemented using the RealSense Infrared camera.
Distance measurement:. Infrared light is highly reflective and because of this it can be used in a similar way to how bats use sound for echolocation to create depth maps. The RealSense SDK comes with the ability to easily generate and query depth maps, removing a lot of the complexity from the task. Using depth maps, the camera can easily determine how far an object is away from the camera.
Length measurement: the infrared depth maps can also be used to calculate the size of objects. Once the distance is determined, the size of a object can be detected by how far away the object is.
Facial recognition: Also using depth maps, faces can be recognized by looking for and measuring certain facial features. Terminator Vision detects the perimeter of the face, the eyes and the mouth, and highlights them with a wireframe. Using this information it can match the detected face with “known faces”, labeling the face with a name. It can also detect emotions such as happy, sad or surprised by determining the shape of the month and positioning of the features. It will then display the corresponding emoticon next to the name.
Heartbeat Measurement: Every heartbeat sends approx. 15 grams of blood to the head. When viewed with an IR camera this causes subtle changes in the colour of the image of the face. Using this, Terminator Vision can determine when roughly when a heartbeat occurs. It can then use this information to calculate the approximate heartbeat of the person being scanned.
Come With Me if You Want To Live
Augmented Reality shows huge potential for making us more efficient and productive. It is already being experimented with in cars in an attempt to make high-traffic situations safer by providing the driver with additional information about the speed and movement of other cars. It is already being used in airplane landing systems to help pilots make smoother landings. And BMW mechanics can use VR to fix your car, by using AR to guide them through repair procedures without having to stop to read a manual. These are just several examples of the capabilities of augmented reality and this is just the beginning. With advances in technology, augmented reality is projected to become commonplace in a little as 3 years.
Hasta la vista, baby.
Right now, Terminator vision is too bulky and too heavy for most people to want to wear around. With new AR headwear on the horizon, Fortsch suggests trying something similar using an AR headset with semi-transparent lenses. This would cut out the need for the two webcams, reducing a lot of the weight and improving battery consumption. However, Fortsch and his team have proven what they set out to do – that it is now possible to implement low-cost augmented reality in a single day.
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