University of Tokyo’s Rekimoto Lab was showing off Lidarman at Siggraph, and it was really neat. There wasn’t much new technology in the project but SemiAccurate thought the concept was quite clever, clearly out of the box thinking..
The idea is simple, take a helmet with a Lidar scanner on it, scan the area around you in realtime, and show the results on a VR rig also attached to the helmet. The number crunching is done by a laptop in the backpack, or at Siggraph it was on the table in front of the user, and also shown on a monitor for onlookers to view. The user ends up looking like a 3rd rate Robocop with an old school rotating police siren strapped to their head, but even with that image it was still fun.
It looks sillier on your head but still cool
So why is Lidarman neat? Beacuse it shows you a 3rd person view of yourself and your surroundings. Think old school over the shoulder video game action with even older school graphics, but still works. You see yourself and your surroundings from a birds-eye view as you walk around and move. While SemiAccurate doesn’t have a killer app for Lidarman yet, with a little more work it could be useful in low visibility environments like smoke or fog. If there ends up being no killer app for it, well, it is still a great idea. We like Lidarman and had fun using it.S|A