Emteq Reveals VR Facial Tracking Tech That Doesn’t Require Cameras

The future of VR facial tracking could lay in detecting electrical muscle signals.

When VRFocus has previously reported on facial tracking technology what’s usually employed are a set of cameras that record facial movements, such as the recent Kickstarter campaign for Veeso. Today a Brighton, UK-based startup Emteq has revealed a newly developed facial tracking tech that reads the electrical signals created by muscle movement.

Called Faceteq, the technology uses a range of biometric sensor techniques including electromyography (EMG), electrooculography (EOG), heart rate and more all built into the faceplate of virtual reality (VR) head-mounted displays (HMDs), such as Oculus Rift, tracking the electrical current generated by users.

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One of the main benefits of this type of system over camera-based designs is that it’s more compact, it also registers movements in eye, forehead and cheek muscles that are underneath a VR headset.

Face tracking technology could be an important part of VR future as it enables a digital avatar to mirror or respond to a user’s change in expression or mood, greatly benefiting immersion.

Graeme Cox, the Chief Executive, co-founder of Emteq and serial tech entrepreneur, said in a statement: “Our machine learning combined with facial sensor technologies represents a significant leap forward in functionality and form for developers looking to introduce human expression and mood into a digital environment.

“Imagine playing an immersive role playing game where you need to emotionally engage with a character to progress. With our technology, that is possible – it literally enables your computer to know when you are having a bad day or when you are tired.

“In addition, integrating our facial interface into a VR headset is simple and unobtrusive, improving the practical form of the device by completely eliminating the need for burdensome face tracking cameras.”

Still currently in development VRFocus will continue to follow the progress of Faceteq, reporting back with any further updates.

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