Esper Makes Virtual Reality From Live Reality

There’s a scene in Bladerunner where Deckard puts a photograph in a magical machine that lets him zoom and enhance without limit, and even see around obstacles. In today’s climate, this is starting to seem more plausible, what with all the cameras everywhere. [Jasper van Loenen] explores this concept in Esper, a technological art installation he created in Seoul, Korea during an artist residency.

Esper is a two-part piece that turns virtual reality on its head by showing actual reality in VR. It covers two adjoining rooms, one to record reality, and the other for real-time virtual viewing on headsets. The first is outfitted with 60 ESP32 cameras on custom mounts, all pointing in different directions from various perches and ceiling drops. [Jasper] used an Android app based on openFrameworks to map the cameras’ locations in 3D space. The room next door is so empty, it’s even devoid of FOMO. You don’t want to miss this one, so check it out after the break.

Recreating sci-fi props is all fun and games until the dystopia arrives. Then again, the fact that we can all easily access 70,000 or so insecure surveillance cameras is a pretty good start.

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