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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Captivating ESP32 Camera Hack

You can never have enough DIY devices at home, so when you look at an ESP32 module that comes with the camera, you automatically start getting ideas. [Daniel Padilla] wanted a way to deploy DIY camera modules without the hassle of configuring them so he made one that looks like an access point and starts streaming as soon as you connect to it.[GitHub]

The code he provides allows the ESP32 to appear as an Open Access Point which you can connect to from a PC or smartphone. The awesome sauce here is that the ESP32 resolves all DNS requests to a redirect in a similar manner to what happens when someone connects to an open Wi-Fi access point in a mall, Instead of a captive portal page that asks the user to authenticate or accept terms and conditions, [Daniel Padilla]’s code instead redirects to the streaming page et voila! Instant camera stream, and it is that simple.

We love this project because it is an elegant way to solve a problem, and it also teaches newbies about captive portals and their implementation. We covered a cheap ESP32 Webcam in the past and this project also comes with code for you to get started. We would love to see what you come up with next.