One of the larger challenges in consumer 3D tech these days is tracking the position of an AR/VR device in space. For a number of years, companies solved this problem by offering complex technological infrastructure—like cameras or sensors—that a user could place around the room to help determine their location. Lately, however, a few creative developers are finding low-cost ways to incorporate the tracking into the devices themselves.
Occipital is one of the most noteworthy among these developers. Though the company already sells a $399 system that incorporates an iPhone and their $349 sensor for tracking, the company has recently shown a tracking platform that uses a single camera to track the headset in space.
The monoSLAM solution uses a single, cheap wide-angle camera and a low-cost IMU, and works quite well according to TechCrunch.
“I demoed the software using a single-camera and IMU solution attached to the front of an HTC Vive,” writes reporter Lucas Matney, “and, even without SteamVR base stations in the room, the cheap camera built up a point cloud of the space while defining the lines and edges of surfaces around me. Despite a good deal of sudden shifting, the tracking system did a remarkably good job at staying stable.”