Rendering a 3D world inside a VR headset is pretty easy at this point, and studios have been creating movie theater-scale 3D videos for years. Now a company called Roomality plans to use AI to deliver an immersively large 3D experience at home, without the need for glasses.
The concept is fairly straightforward. Two cameras mounted above a large window-sized display combine with an AI system to track the wearer’s eye positions, dynamically adjusting the display’s content to match the viewer’s movement. Demonstration videos show the Unreal Engine-powered system displaying photorealistic beach, jungle, forest, and field landscapes that — at scale — could make a viewer think they’re seeing any of the actual sites outside a window located in any apartment, house, or office.
If you’ve ever seen Nintendo’s New 3DS, which uses a simpler head tracking system to display glasses-free 3D, imagine the same effect at a much larger size, and with far higher resolution. Roomality suggests that the system’s next steps will expand to full wall scale, creating the illusion of a balcony that could be explored, then to full room scale. creating “total immersiveness” that the user could navigate just by looking anywhere in the room.
While the company uses Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Holodeck as a reference point, like other startups have, that comparison is more than a bit aggressive. Roomality’s system appears to be fully usable in 3D only by a single person at a time — at least, on any given wall — and there’s no physical simulation of 3D objects. But it might conceivably allow a person to walk into a room and peer out multiple “windows” that are actually just AI-backed 3D displays, simulating views of faraway or just distant places.
Roomality doesn’t yet have a release date or price for its displays, but the company is exploring prospective uses in architecture, including windowless accommodations, as well as virtual tourism, gaming, and set creation for the film industry. In addition to Unreal Engine, the company Is using Quixel Megascans for 3D assets, ensuring that a wide range of artificial and real world environments will be compatible with its system whenever it’s ready to launch.