Room Scale Possible: Testing the standing tracking volume on the Oculus Rift

by Will Mason • June 17th, 2015

That’s right – the Rift can play in the whole room too.

At the behest of Palmer Luckey I once again took a trip into the Touch demo room to test the tracking volume of the two camera setup. During my first demo I admittedly got so immersed in the moment and sheer joy of it all that I forgot to walk around much. This time I didn’t.

Using a two camera setup with both cameras pointed forward, Oculus’ tracking camera array was able to track my motion and the motion of the Touch controllers throughout the entire space of the room – which was about 12ft x 12ft. The only time I actually lost tracking was when I nestled right against the wall where the cameras were placed – which made sense given that the camera couldn’t possibly see the headset from that extreme angle.

A look at the dual tracking camera configuration

A look at the dual tracking camera configuration

I also took a moment to test the occlusion factor on the new controllers and as expected the tracking on them broke when I hid them behind my back. This could probably be solved with a different camera setup.

Speaking with an Oculus engineer about the double front facing camera setup we learned that it was more of a ‘lets make sure everyone sees there are two cameras’ kind of thing rather than just for functionality. She clarified that yes, you would be able to set the cameras up in opposite corners of the room, for example, a setup which might allow for less occlusion issues with the controllers.

In these tests the controllers had some issues losing tracking

In these tests the controllers had some issues losing tracking behind my big butt

The promise of room scale tracking on the Oculus Rift is one that is salivating – both for consumers and developers. By bridging that gap both with the controllers and the tracking – Oculus has made it vastly easier for developers to create experiences that function across all platforms. Before we had fragmentation – now we have three headsets that all use hand tracked controllers, with both major PC options allowing for potentially room scale experiences. If Oculus could add some kind of Chaperone system to help detect walls and objects it would be a dead even race in my book. The “war of VR” is going to be extremely interesting to watch over the next year and beyond.

Discuss this post on ZapChain: What are you most excited to do with the Oculus “Room Scale” tracking?
 

 

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