Few would deny that Oculus VR and Samsung’s Gear VR mobile-based virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) is a great piece of kit. Combining a Samsung smartphone with a device that has built-in features such as head-tracking without the need to be tethered to a PC or console makes for a strong VR experience. But there’s one crucial feature that Gear VR is currently lacking compared to other HMDs. Lack of positional tracking has been one of the kit’s main weaknesses since its launching last year. But this week tech specialist Freedom VR has been showcasing its own work bringing this feature to the device.
Freedom VR has released 2 videos online, both of which can be seen below, showing positional tracking for the device. Those following the kit might have previously seen Sixense show positional tracking on the device with the addition of its motion controllers, but here the user is free to walk around without the need of these controllers, with no restrictions on where they walk other than the actual limitations of the physical and virtual worlds. It compares to something like the HTC Vive’s Room Scale tracking, then, trading off the limits of that system for a lack of position-tracked input. Either way, it’s still a big leap for the hardware.
The second video even sees one user slowly longboarding on the device. It’s not yet clear what plans the company has for its technology, although the solution on offer here seems to demand the user wear a helmet with sensors and more attached to the back. It certainly looks to be in the prototype stages right now but with the likes of even Oculus VR’s own John Carmack calling for a solution to positional tracking on Gear VR, there will certainly be demand for the company to keep pushing its experiments further. Those in the Salt Lake City, Utah area can even get in contact at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free demo.
VRFocus will continue to follow work on Gear VR, reporting back with the latest updates on the device.