Halo’s Cortana enters the real world with this internet appliance. [Jarem Archer] has built an amazing “holographic” home for Cortana of Halo and Windows fame. The display isn’t really a hologram, it uses the age-old Pepper’s ghost illusion. A monitor reflects onto 3 angled half mirrored panels. This creates a convincing 3D effect. Cortana herself is a 3D model. [Jarem’s] wife provided gave Cortana her moves by walking in front of dual Kinect depth-sensing cameras. This motion capture performance drives the 3D Cortana model on the screen.
The brain behind this hack is the standard Windows 10 Cortana voice assistant. Saying “Hey Cortana” wakes the device up. To make the whole experience more interactive, [Jarem] added a face detection camera to the front of the device. When a face is detected, the Cortana model turns toward the user. Even if several people are watching the device, it would seem as if Cortana was “talking to” one person in the audience.
The cherry on top of this hack is the enclosure. [Jarem] 3D printed a black plastic stage. An Arduino drives RGB LEDs whenever Cortana is activated. The LEDs project a blue glue that works well with the Pepper’s ghost illusion. The result is a project that looks like something Microsoft might have cooked up in one of their research labs.
Continue reading “Say Hello to This Cortana Hologram”
Touch screens are nice — we still can’t live without a keyboard but they suffice when on the go. But it is becoming obvious that the end goal with user interface techniques is to completely remove the need to touch a piece of hardware in order to interact with it. One avenue for this goal is the use of voice commands via software like Siri, but another is the use of 3D processing hardware like Kinect or Leap Motion. This project uses the latter to control the image shown on the 3D display.
Continue reading “3D display controlled with the Leap Motion”
Yep, the story is everywhere right now. Tupac performed at Coachella from beyond the grave in the form of a “hologram”. Most of you probably recognize what is going on pretty quickly though. This is the same Pepper’s Ghost trick we’ve seen several times already in concert performances from various virtual bands like the Gorillaz.
While reading this article explaining Pepper’s Ghost to the masses, we saw that they had found a true gem of a hack! [Kevin] was inspired by a trip to disney’s haunted mansion back in 2007. He came home and went to work building his own really cool back yard attraction that happened to include the same trick they are now using for imaginary performers. There are tons of pictures of the build and some nice notes along the way covering 2 years of operation and upgrades. It is an ancient trick, but we always love seeing a good build.