‘Portal’ Hololens demo explores the wonders of virtual teleportation

Hololens developer Kenny W puts a mind-blowing spin on Microsoft’s mixed reality technology with a reality-warping tech demo that incorporates gameplay mechanics from Valve’s hit first-person puzzler Portal.

The demo allows users to place virtual portals on real-world walls, floors, and ceilings, which then interact with Portal‘s Companion Cube in a startlingly convincing fashion. Could the next Portal sequel take place in your own living room?

Valve’s Portal, originally released in 2008, tells a sci-fi tale in which a captive test subject must solve a series of teleportation puzzles using a gun that creates human-sized rifts in reality. In Valve’s game, objects that pass through a player-created orange portal instantly emerge from a nearby blue portal, and vice-versa. Portal uses this mechanic to great effect with a wealth of clever puzzles that challenge players to rethink mechanical concepts like momentum within a confined physical space.

Portal also introduced the Companion Cube, a featureless metal box that nevertheless endears itself to players over the course of a single in-game test room. Though the Companion Cube meets an unfortunate end in Portal, the beloved crate makes a triumphant return for the sake of pushing the creative possibilities of Hololens technology to new heights.

In Kennywdev’s Portal-themed Hololens demo, players are able to place orange and blue portals atop real-world physical surfaces. Hololens portals behave much in the same way as they do in Valve’s Portal, allowing a virtual Companion Cube to instantly warp across large expanses of physical space as a result.

Realistic physics modeling further completes the illusion, as Kenny W’s demo shows the Companion Cube rolling down stairs, appearing from walls after being dropped into floor portals, and achieving accelerated momentum following multiple consecutive portal jumps. While its creator describes the experiment as “a fun side project” that has not yet been publicly released, the concepts demonstrated here have immediate and obvious applications within the world of game design. We hope you’re watching, Valve.


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