Wireless laser positioning technology could offer many advantages over current optical tracking systems.
One of the aspects of modern virtual reality (VR) that needs to see improvement if lightweight wireless VR is going to become a mainstream reality is positional tracking. One company working on improving that is G-Wearables, who are using lasers to create more accurate untethered tracking called StepVR.
G-Wearables claim they are one of the first to create large space laser positioning technology, which allows for high precision with low latency, and removes problems with occlusion.
The company say that the StepVR Laser positioning system allows for latency below 2ms, and positioning that is accurate down to 1mm. For users, this low latency means better performance inside the VR environment, and high positioning accuracy means no immersion-breaking re-calibration is required.
Further, using a laser-based system means that occlusion becomes less of a problem. Occlusion occurs commonly in current VR set-ups when the optical positioning sensors can no longer get a direct line-of-sight on the tracker, such as when a PlayStation VR camera can no longer see the glowing ball on a PlayStation Move controller, because a player has turned away or moved out of range.
The StepVR system can be distributed, allowing each tracking object to act as its own node, so there is no upper limit on the number of positional devices that can be added, since each unit can check itself against the others in the network. The laser-based system is also resisent to interference from interference from natural light or other powerful light sources, which have been known to interfere with optical tracking systems.
The company also claims that the StepVR system doesn’t need any additional adjustment and re-calibration after initial installation and debugging, and is suitable for single-player environments or large VR arenas. StepVR also provide open source SDK resources for Unity 3D, Cocos 3D, Unreal Engine 4 and Cry Engine 3.
Further information on the StepVR laser positioning system is available on the StepVR website, which includes details on the available hardware.