When Microsoft unveiled its digital assistant in 2014, it looked to the Halo franchise for inspiration, naming its system Cortana, after Master Chief’s AI companion. One ambitious fan has gone a step further and created his own holographic version of the assistant for his home.
Jarem Archer, who goes by untitled network on YouTube, demonstrates the build in the video by asking Corana if he’ll need an umbrella that day. The Halo AI appears in the pyramid-shaped device, and appears to consult a series of digital displays. “That’s probably not necessary,” she says. “The forecast shows sun, with a high of 87 and a low of 68.” When she’s done delivering the news, she walks away and vanishes.
Archer used motion capture and a Unity 3D app to animate the character in the device
Archer provides an overview of the build on his blog, saying that he wanted to see what a digital assistant might look like as a real hologram. Using the Windows 10 version of Cortana, he animated her in a Unity 3D app, drawing on motion capture from a pair of Kinect devices. His wife provided the movement, walking back and forth in their living room.
The device also uses face tracking to adjust the holographic image to orient towards the speaker. The case itself is something that he designed and printed with a 3D printer. He then installed an omnidirectional microphone and a speaker in the base to interact with the device.
Archer noted that he could not only use the device for asking Cortana questions, but also to control the automated functions or music in his house, which he says that he’ll demonstrate in a future video.