Appropriately segmented portions from a video stream are captured by an outward-facing camera mounted on a virtual reality (VR) device and inserted into a VR environment. The outward-facing camera can be the onboard camera on the VR device or it can be a separate camera mounted on the VR device. Because the camera view from the point of view of the VR user is similar to a full three-dimensional (3D) model of the user’s environment, rendered from the user’s location, the video stream can be inserted directly into the VR environment by segmenting out the relevant pixels and placing them into the VR environment as a 3D object. In this way, a high-quality VR experience, including desired aspects of the user’s physical and social environment, can be provided in most settings without expensive 3D modeling or avatar generation.
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Frueh, Christian, "Enabling Social Virtual Reality Experiences Using Pass-Through Video", Technical Disclosure Commons, (May 16, 2017)