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Google: Project Tango’s ‘6 Doff tracking is interesting for VR’

Google’s annual Google I/O event is currently taking place in San Francisco, and unsurprisingly virtual reality (VR) has already played a key role in the proceedings. A new version of the Google Cardboard head-mounted display (HMD) was revealed at the keynote speech yesterday, along with the revelation that there are now over 1 million units in the world. The VR commentary continues today, as the relation to Project Tango is discussed.

In a speaker session entitled ‘Project Tango: Mobile 3D Tracking and Perception’, Johnny Lee, Technical Program Lead at Google, discussed the relationship between Project Tango and VR. Though the tablet format may not be perfect, there are several instances in which the lines between the technology can be blurred, Lee assures.

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“The 6 Doff tracking [and] positioning that Project Tango enables is interesting for VR,” states Lee. “So we started exploring docking these tablets to your face using the Durovis Dive helmets. Durovis is a partner that creates these plastic shells for different size mobile devices.”

Though Lee is confident in the technology itself, he understands the it’s not necessarily the best basis for a VR experience. Highlighting that it’s not Google’s intention to push tablet-based VR HMDs, Lee is still open to further exploring the technology alongside Project Tango.

“It’s obviously not the most ergonomically friendly form factor, and these tablets were not designed for VR. The have high latency, they don’t have quite the right rendering stack, but from a sensor and tracking standpoint, it’s performing relatively well,” concludes Lee.

Whether or not we’ll see the ties between Project Tango and Google’s VR HMD efforts draw closer in the future remains to be seen. More details on the latter are still likely to come from Google I/O this week and VRFocus will be keeping you updated.