The purpose of this work is to develop a means for providing users with real time visual body feedback when interacting in Virtual Environments using Microsoft Kinect sensors. The advent of the Microsoft Kinect provided the research community with an inexpensive but versatile piece of equipment that can be used to obtain real time 3D information of the physical world. Our setup uses multiple Microsoft Kinects to capture a 3D point cloud of a participant in the Virtual Environment, constructs a 3D mesh out of the point cloud, and reprojects the 3D data into a Virtual Environment so that a user can experience his/her own body moving when looking through an immersive display device. Previous studies have indicated that experiencing a self avatar in a Virtual Environment enhanced user presence. In other words, users felt the Virtual Environments to be more realistic in a variety of measures. This work also proposes an InfraRed-based position tracking system using multiple Kinects for tracking user's head position when moving in Virtual Environments. A pilot study was conducted to analyze the effects of IR interference among multiple Kinects on the overall performance of the tracking system. The results show that our self avatar representation combined with the proposed tracking system should help support natural interaction of users in 3D spaces.
University of Minnesota M.S. thesis. Major: Computer science. Advisor: Dr. Peter J Willemsen. 1 computer file (PDF); vii, 90 pages, appendix A.
Satyavolu, Srivishnu Kaushik.
Self-avatars and IR-based position tracking in virtual environments using Microsoft Kinects..
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