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Positional Tracking on Consumer Gear VR ‘Not going to happen’ says Luckey

The Oculus Connect 2 developer conference kicks off later today in Hollywood, California, and lasts until 25th September 2015. Virtual reality (VR) fans are expecting plenty of updates about the Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD), but many are also hoping to hear about the company’s mobile HMD, Gear VR, made in partnership with Samsung. The consumer version of the device has been promised to release this year, making a reveal this week a real possibility. One thing that won’t be confirmed, however, is positional tracking for the device.

Gear VR for Samsung Galaxy S6

Oculus VR founder and Oculus Rift creator Palmer Luckey recently confirmed as much over on the Oculus Subreddit. Responding to one user predicting positional tracking for Gear VR at this week’s show, Luckey wrote: “In the spirit of killing overhype: Not going to happen. Our computer vision teams are doing some amazing work, but VR-grade inside-out tracking is not currently workable on mobile devices.” Gear VR of course supports head-tracking, in which players can turn their head to look around an environment, but positional tracking refers to actually moving one’s head in any direction, and having those movements picked up within the experience.

Elsewhere, the designer has also confirmed that Oculus VR will not be launching Oculus Rift pre-orders at this week’s show.

Gear VR fans had first hoped to see the consumer version of the device at the Samsung Unpacked press conference back in August, but the show came and went without so much as a mention of the kit. Gear VR devices so far have run using either Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 or Galaxy S6 and S6 edge handsets, and it’s now rumoured that an entirely new type of smartphone might be revealed to support the next iteration of the HMD. Either way, Luckey himself has repeatedly confirmed that the consumer Gear VR will be out this year.

Look for Oculus VR CEO Brendan Iribe’s keynote speech on the morning of 24th September to find out about the future of the device.

VRFocus will be at Oculus Connect to deliver the latest updates on both the Gear VR and the Oculus Rift.