WorldViz Laughs Off Room-Scale VR, Introduces ‘Warehouse-Scale’ for Unreal & Unity

by Jamie Feltham • May 26th, 2016

Room-Scale tracking is currently the pinnacle of immersive VR, but why stop at your living room?

That’s what WorldViz is asking today as it introduces Unity and Unreal Engine support for its self-labelled ‘Warehouse-Scale’ VR technology. This coming June, the Santa Barbara, California-based group will integrate its Precision Position Tracking (PPT) system into both popular development toolsets. By extension, teams will then be able to support the enlarged form of tracking in headsets that are compatible with the engines, which includes basically every major device as well as the recently announced Google Daydream platform.

As seen in the video above, WorldViz’s tech can track up to 10 people or objects in an area of over 50 meters by 50 meters with what the company claims is “sub-millimetre accuracy” using high-precision cameras, and sensors to fit to the HMD in use. There’s also support for motion controllers to track hands and custom software for development. Basically, consider everything the HTC Vive is capable of right now, expanded to a much bigger area and accommodating many more players. It all falls under the banner of the company’s ‘PPT system’, which is available now starting at $15,000.

Of course, this system isn’t really intended for consumer use. There’s a big debate within the VR community right now about how successful Vive can be with a tracking system that asks (but doesn’t demand) for just under 5 meters by 5 meters of space. Very, very few VR fans are going to have a spare room in waiting for this tech, let alone the space that this system allows for.

The answer, then, surely lies in location-based VR, an area of the industry that’s been picking up steam of late, and dedicated promotional events that utilise the tech. Imagine using this to inspect a new aircraft as the image above suggests. More elaborate VR experiences may not be viable in the home, but VR arcades designed to accommodate larger areas could well make use of WorldWiz’s system. Starbreeze’s StarVR is planning to be deployed in this way; perhaps the company would have something to gain by working with WorldViz?

For more information about WorldViz, you can listen to the latest episode of the Presence Podcast, which features a detailed interview about the technology.

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