Disney Demonstrates System For Catching A Real Ball In Virtual Reality

March 23, 2017


This is a recent demo by Disney Research of a virtual reality system they've developed that allows users to accurately interact with moving physical objects while in a virtual reality environment. In this case, catching and throwing a ball. An explanation that makes no sense to me because I'm stupid and my parents probably wish I'd been a virtual baby like a Tamagotchi:

We examine three visualizations: rendering a matching virtual ball, the predicted trajectory of the ball, and a target catching point lying on the predicted trajectory. In our demonstration system, we track the projectile motion of a ball as it is being tossed between users. Using Unscented Kalman Filtering, we generate predictive estimates of the ball's motion as it approaches the catcher. The predictive assistance visualizations effectively increases user's senses but can also alter the user's strategy in catching.

So yeah, if you were hoping virtual reality would soon have a lot more being able to play with balls, you're in luck. Obviously, I'll finally be able to live out my lifelong fantasy of fielding a game-winning fly ball in the outfield. Then my team will pick me up and carry me off the field a hero. *ahem* That's your cue. "We're not picking you up." Jesus, at least dump Gatorade on me or something. "Settle for pasta water?" Anything, quick, you're ruining the moment.

Keep going for the video demonstration.

Thanks to goldprawn, who agrees the scariest thing about virtual reality is not knowing when your roommate comes home with friends, and whether or not you're wearing pants.

  • Mihos Bubastis

    Pretty much anyone who owns a vive has tossed the controller in the air and caught it. The tracking on it is awesome

  • pusherman
  • Bling Nye

    The predictive trajectory part was pretty cool. Rather than tracking the ball, he just put his hand where the ball would be. Imagine applying this to augmented reality targeting glasses for soldiers; predicting trajectory of targets, with a reticle exactly where physics says the target is going to be when the bullet's travel time would intersect with the target...

  • Brock

    Cool to consider; but at that point in tech, humans are already removed from the equation. You wouldn't have human soldiers running around with VR gear and trying to perfectly aim with a augmented environment...you'd have either armor/vehicle mounted weapons using the predictive aim tech, or just robots...

  • Bling Nye

    What do you mean, "at that point in tech"? We're literally at that point today, and robots are still very far from replacing human soldiers.

  • Brock

    You: "Imagine applying this to augmented reality targeting glasses for soldiers"
    "at that point in tech"
    Maybe you missed the context?

  • TheQiwiMan

    I recently worked as a sub-contractor for the US military, and while I obviously can't go into any detail.... we currently have weapons in development that would make you guys' heads spin.

    (Meaning they are unbelievable, not that we literally have developed weapons that spin peoples' heads)

  • Bling Nye

    I don't doubt it. Hell, 20+ years ago we had tech for pilots that could allow them to aim weapons just by looking at the target.

  • Draco Basileus

    Seriously, if you're going to replicate catching something in VR don't make it a boring ass tennis ball. The guy inside the VR head gear should have thought he was catching chainsaws or something.

  • Jenness

    So taking a guess because I don't feel like clicking and reading other webpages, is this so they can develop programs for sight-challenged people to digitally reproduce reality so they can function as a fully sighted person? What other applications would it be used for? And yes, I know porn is probably one of them though not sure why - but that always is an answer.

  • Games. It's for videogames.

  • TheQiwiMan

    Name ONE thing in life whose primary purpose is NOT porn, I dare ya!


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