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uSens Unveils SLAM-Based 6DOF Tracking for Mobile VR/AR

uSens, the tracking technology specialist behind the Fingo, has announced development of a Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping (SLAM) based mobile inside-out 6DOF positional tracking solution. 

Designed specifically for mobile devices, using advanced machine learning and computer vision techniques, uSens’ algorithm constructs a virtual map of an environment without the need for markers. This environment can then be customised by adding digital content. The inside-out technology tracks a user’s location by continuously scanning and ‘learning’ about where they are, allowing a user’s position to be tracked in unknown and changing environments.

uSens SLAM

This kind of technology is far more suited to mobiles unlike marker-based or outside-in SLAM, which requires markers or sensors to be placed around a room in order to interact with a VR system like Oculus Rift or HTC Vive.

“We carry around a supercomputer in our pocket at all times – our smartphones – and giving developers the tools to enhance the user experience on hardware we all already possess is key to increasing adoption,” said Dr. Yue Fei, chief technology officer and co-founder of uSens in a statement. “Apple entering the market with ARKit, joining Samsung and Google, has focused the industry on creating untethered, mobile content. Consumers are excited for the coming wave of AR content and we’re focused on building the core interactive technologies for developers so they can create experiences that feel real and immersive, which is what consumers are demanding.”

This is the kind of tech mobile VR headsets like Gear VR or Goggle Daydream would need to provide more immersive experiences like their bigger high-end cousins. This would allow users to lean into virtual worlds, or walk around them just like HTC Vive’s roomscale, just with one added bonus, no wires.

Dr. Fei continued, “Positional tracking is required to give objects and experiences real meaning in virtual environments. Computing systems can create color, shape, size, etc., but what’s missing in the mix is position. The world is not flat, so as our technology begins to blend the physical and virtual world, it’s increasingly important that it interacts with the world in three dimensions. We’re already in discussions with a number of consumer-level companies to utilize our SLAM technology. Accurately tracking a user’s position will allow the entire industry to take a giant leap forward and our solutions will help bring on the next generation of amazing ARVR content.”

The company hasn’t said how early in development this inside-out 6DOF tracking is so its unclear exactly when it might be rolled out. VRFocus will continue its coverage of uSens, reporting back with further announcements.