Studio Tests Inside Out VR Tracking With Apple’s ARKit

by Upload • July 13th, 2017

This is interesting.

A company called Nexus Studios says it tested Apple’s ARKit tracking technology with a Cardboard VR headset and found it to do a suitable job. Tilt Brush artwork is said to have been placed throughout an outdoor environment with point clouds displayed in VR to show the location of real-world objects — operating as a kind of safety system.

“It’s possible to do both pass-through AR (where the single camera feed is displayed to both eyes), as well as inside out positional tracking for VR at around 60 frames per second on an iPhone 7,” according to the company. “That’s not enough for quick head movements, but as long as you are walking around and observing at a ‘gallery pace’, the tracking does a pretty good job of keeping you in the right spot.”

We reached out for more information about the project and the quality of the tracking.

“The tracking is great, to be honest,” wrote Luke Ritchie, who heads a division of Nexus Studios called Interactive Arts, in an email. “As we said very quick movements and you’ll notice the 60fps – otherwise it’s pretty stable. We have found it OK for most easy going experiences. Quick movements and a longer duration can feel somewhat uncomfortable. We’re not suggesting it’s consumer ready by any means.”

Ritchie said they tested it up to 10 minutes at a time. We’re actually surprised it took this long for someone to test this out, but Ritchie believes they may be the first. The studio worked on a variety of other VR and AR projects including Google’s Rain or Shine. 

Update: Additional information added about the experiment.

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  • I’m super impressed with the tech demos I’ve seen using AR kit. I’m amazed what can be done and how accurate the tracking appears to be using no additional hardware and with hardware that (hundreds of?) millions of people already have. Now we just need to see useful real-world applications.

    Seeing the demo above, I can imagine this being used to revolutionize “escape rooms” and haunted house-type exhibits. Maybe even historic event recreations at various locations where those events happened.