Hacker builds augmented reality rig, uses it for anime romance

hacker augmented reality anime romance armiku

In Sega’s bizarre reality, Hatsune Miku is a spunky, green-haired singing sensation, like Britney Spears except more pixelated. In our reality however, Miku is a Yamaha-developed software program designed to synthesize human singing patterns in real time that somehow found itself imbued with far more distaff qualities than is usually appropriate. In both realities, Miku has attracted a surprisingly huge audience of dedicated fans, one of whom recently decided to blur the lines between the disparate universes.

Using an ASUS-branded camera system similar to Microsoft’s Kinect peripheral and a customized set of video goggles, Japanese YouTube user “alsionesvx” was able to create a functional augmented reality rig that allows him to alter his perceived reality to suit his whims. As you can see from the video embedded below, these whims include taking his virtual girlfriend, the aforementioned Hatsune Miku, on a date in a real world park.

While the video’s text is in Japanese, it’s pretty easy to pick up the gist of the clip by just watching the moving images. The beginning of the clip is alsionesvx explaining what went into the creation of his AR system, while the remainder is videotaped evidence of his romantic encounter. 

Before you jump into the comments to decry the idea of a man taking an anime starlet on a date as an abomination unto nature, we’d like to point out that it’s both been done before (have a look at the YouTube comments section) and is completely beside the point. We ought not look at this DIY project and be appalled at the weird, decadent things its creator decided to use it for, we should instead be imagining all the weird, decadent things that we could do with technology like this.

Personally I love the idea of walking through a park, when I’m suddenly ambushed by a gang of ninjas and have to fistfight each one. Until very recently the quickest way to achieve this was by by murdering a wise, old sensei, but with an AR system like this that experience could be virtually superimposed over our reality whenever I had the inclination for fisticuffs. Likewise, doctors (or any profession that requires constant access to critical information) could use this tech during surgery to keep track of a patient’s vital signs while working on their malfunctioning innards. 

Of course, it goes without saying that fully interactive augmented reality pornography would be a huge hit. Feign moral outrage if you want, but you’re lying if you claim the idea isn’t intriguing.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Halfbikes, VR for all your senses, and more

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Smart Home

Oh, Zuck, no! Facebook rumored to be creating a voice assistant to rival Alexa

Facebook hasn't been a big player in the smart speaker market, but that may be changing: The social media giant is reportedly working on a digital assistant to compete against Alexa and others.
Gaming

This list of PlayStation 4 exclusives puts its competitors to shame

The PlayStation 4's game library and incredible selection of exclusive games could make anyone with an Xbox One or Nintendo Switch think twice. Here's our list of the latest and greatest PS4 exclusives.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (April 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Emerging Tech

Public vote opens for new planet name, but Planet McPlanetface won’t fly

The largest unnamed world in our solar system needs an official title, and you can help choose it. The scientists who discovered the icy planetoid recently announced details of a public vote offering three choices.
Emerging Tech

Watch the fearsome DroneHunter X3 pluck rogue UAVs out of the sky

How do you stop enemy drones in their tracks? DroneHunter X3 is a new autonomous anti-drone technology which outruns and then captures rogue drones in midair. Check it out in action.
Emerging Tech

How MIT hacked horticulture to cultivate a hyper-flavorful basil plant

At MIT, Caleb Harper used his personal food computers to alter the climate in which he grew basil. Exposing it light for 24 hours a day changed the flavor profile of the plant, making it spicier and stronger.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX’s main Falcon Heavy booster is lost at sea after falling off drone ship

SpaceX has lost the center core of its Falcon Heavy rocket after a successful mission last week that ended with it landing on a drone ship. SpaceX said rough seas resulted in the rocket toppling over and falling into the ocean.
Emerging Tech

Sweden is building a road that recharges electric buses that drive over it

The Swedish transport administration is exploring special roads which will charge vehicles’ batteries as they drive over them. It will test the idea with a short sample stretch of road.
Emerging Tech

Scientists manage to 3D print an actual heart using human cells

Scientists at Tel Aviv University have achieved a world-first by 3D printing a small-scale heart, complete with blood vessels, ventricles, and chambers. Here's why that's so exciting.
Emerging Tech

Drown out noisy neighbors and rest easy with these white noise machines

Some people are more sensitive to sound during sleep than others. Luckily, there are a number of white noise machines on the market to mask the noise. Here are our five of our current favorites.
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and others that do ... nothing particularly useful.
Emerging Tech

Watch a pack of SpotMini robot dogs perform a terrifying feat of strength

Boston Dynamics' SpotMini robotic dog is now going around in packs, and the results are somewhat concerning. Check out the video to see what kind of shenanigans 10 of them got up to recently ...
Emerging Tech

Notre Dame fire: How drones and a robot called Colossus helped limit the damage

The fire that devastated the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral on Monday shocked many around the world. In a bid to prevent even worse damage to the structure, Paris firefighters opted to deploy drones and a robot called Colossus.