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Occipital Launches Wireless Tracking Platform For VR Headsets

The aim of reducing the amount of wires and cables involved in setting up a virtual reality rig is a priority for a number of companies. All-in-one headsets featuring ‘inside out’ tracking are one solution, but current technology along those lines is lacking compared to wired equivalents. Occipital are trying to change that.

Occipital’s new technology is a tracking platform that involved low-cost integrated cameras and IMUs to allow for room-scale VR experiences without need for external tracking sensors. The company is aiming for the same level of accuracy as SteamVR, regarded by many as one of the best current options for VR tracking.

The company are offering their six-degree-of-freedom platform for free to hardware developers who are currently operating on less than 10,000 consumer-level devices, though pricing goes up for large clients with bigger install bases. The platform allows for monoSLAM, also known as Single-Camera Tracking and Mapping. By using a cheap wide-angle camera and cheap IMU, it’s possible for VR manufacturers to build basic inside-out tracking into headsets, which could be effective for starter devices and prototyping.

Despite this, Occipital still say that more cameras are the better option for tracking, but by allowing for such a low-cost ‘starter’ option, it could give start-up companies a lift into the often expensive world of VR development. A video demonstration of the technology is available to view below.

Occipital are currently focussing on the all-in-one headsets and are not presently looking to diversify into the smartphone-powered mobile market, but that could always change as technology, and the industry, develops. The platform currently has support for Window and Android, and Occipital are accepting sign-ups for development kits through it’s website.

VRFocus will bring you further information on developments in VR tracking once it becomes available.