Occipital Cracks SLAM with One Cheap Camera and an IMU


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.”



About Author

SPAR 3D Editor Sean Higgins produces SPAR 3D's weekly newsletters for 3D-scanning professionals, and spar3d.com. Sean has previously worked as a technical writer, a researcher, a freelance technology writer, and an editor for various arts publications. He has degrees from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts and the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, where he studied the history of sound-recording technologies. Sean is a native of Maine and lives in Portland.

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