Sony patents Vive-like VR tracking

Feb 10, 2005
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twitter.com
#1
‏https://twitter.com/iWaggleVR/status/829938002914709504
@iWaggleVR 2h2 hours ago
If I'm interpreting this correctly, Sony appears to be researching a Vive-like tracking system
http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20170039959.pdf

Seems like Sony has an alternative take on the Lighthouse approach of 3D tracking.
This might be an indicator where they could take PSVR 2 in some years which would likely be on PS5 since you would have to start all over with a new PSVR ecosystem, no re-use of Move etc (a good thing imo).

This and inside-out optical tracking solutions seems like the two viable directions to go in the future. However it might be that inside-out optical tracking (no external sensors) has too many near-future hurdles for a console environment (though I think it makes a lot of sense for a fully standalone HMD product). If we detail Pros and Cons for each potential direction:

Inside-Out optical tracking
PROS:
+ No external sensors, all tech resides in headset (and console), no setup process.
CONS
- ...inside-out tracking for VR (much stricter tracking requirements than AR) has not yet been proven.
- How do you handle controller tracking? Track only when in view of headset, drift otherwise?
- If you want to go wireless: Will require 2x bandwidth compared to other tracking solutions since you would have to both receive and send a video-stream (for the console to process position). More fragile & maybe more battery draining.

Lighthouse/Vive-like tracking
PROS:
+ It works perfectly and is proven for VR today.
+ Perfect tracking of controllers no matter headset position.
+ Easier to go wireless: Only 1x bandwidth for receiving video stream.
+ Arbitrary number of devices tracked.
CONS:
- External projector(s) needed making setup more complex.
 
Aug 19, 2016
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Singapore
#7
Eye tracking... it is definitely the future for VR. But in a wireless console/pc environment it basically requires embedded HMD chipset in addition to the sensors. I'm not sure this can be achieved at a low cost but we will see.
also...for wireless to work...it will means the headset will requires battery, no?

which will add to the weight of the hmd....and the need to charge another device can be a hassle.
 
Jun 1, 2013
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#8
Eye tracking... it is definitely the future for VR. But in a wireless console/pc environment it basically requires embedded HMD chipset in addition to the sensors. I'm not sure this can be achieved at a low cost but we will see.
I think whatever price saving is caused by economy of scale/molds etc in the future will be overwritten with each iteration for a while. But they are necessary features. Still happy to see that Sony is at least aware that they should strive for better tracking solutions... and hopefully motion controllers.
 
Oct 1, 2006
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peter.metaclassofnil.com
#11
Seeing this just makes me happy that it was Valve who invented Lighthouse, and not some other (publicly traded, or bought by Facebook) company. Since they can actually make the decision to give it away for free, and having an incredibly solid and extensible tracking system freely available is a huge deal for VR.

For VR to succeed we need wireless headsets
Well, TPCAST is releasing in a few months.
 
Aug 23, 2007
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#21
Honestly should have been this from the start. Tracking LED lights is just too unreliable to create a consistent experience across the board, not to mention the inherent limitations.
 
Oct 1, 2006
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peter.metaclassofnil.com
#28
Isn't the future tetherless inside out tracking? Oculus already showed off a working prototype of this last Fall.
If you actually get it to work in arbitrary environments, for both the HMD and controllers, reliably, accurately and at low cost (both financial and computational), then sure.

I haven't seen many indications of that. And that's before you get into the fact that a Lighthouse system can easily add a basically arbitrary number of additional tracked points, e.g. for full body presence in VR.
 

JustenP88

I earned 100 Gamerscore™ for collecting 300 widgets and thereby created Trump's America
Aug 25, 2014
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#30
Wish they would've had something ready to go for the first iteration. I was defending Move as "good enough for the price" before launch but after a couple weeks with it, I changed my tune. It's just bad enough to hurt immersion and make you long for an alternative.
 
May 23, 2013
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#32
‏
Lighthouse/Vive-like tracking
PROS:
+ It works perfectly and is proven for VR today.
+ Perfect tracking of controllers no matter headset position.
+ Easier to go wireless: Only 1x bandwidth for receiving video stream.
CONS:
- External sensor(s) needed making setup more complex.
There are no sensors involved - the lighthouses are "dumb" in the sense that they just plug into the wall and send out IR laser light, that's it. They don't sense anything, the headset, controllers etc do all that.

Also setup is only as complex as you make it with any other VR system with cameras. The only difference is that SteamVR recommends you mount your lighthouses high up for maximal coverage. You can do exactly the same setup as PSVR with the additional box at the other end of the room and same height, or even the rift setup, with the same trade offs. Roof height will give you the maximal coverage and stability of tracking, TV or desk height will reduce the area in the same volume, lower still if you leave them on the floor.
 
Apr 11, 2014
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#35
And I am glad I have PS VR 1 until the second generation is available. The PS5 could surface 2020, and I can imagine they won't put out a new PSVR iteration right from the start, so maybe 2021? We will see, at least not for a long time, during which I will continue to enjoy VR.
 
Jun 10, 2009
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#37
So I guess I shouldn't even consider buying PS VR until this version is out right
You could say the same about Vive/Rift for a handfull of other reasons: display will get far better in the near future, fov probably too, eye-tracking and foveated rendering is also a thing that is ready afaik, wireless headsets etc.

As long as you know what you're buying and that it'll be obsolete in a couple of years and accept that, you'll be fine. If not you should definitely skip VR for now, because this is only the beginning, but it's already fing awesome.

I hope we'll get PSVR2 in 2-3 years when PS5 launches, it'll be a massive upgrade I'm sure.
 
#39
If the tracking was spot on and covered a much more comprehensive area then PSVR would be absolutely amazing. As it is it does kinda fall at one of the key hurdles, while acing nearly everything else.

The screen is surprisingly good for the resolution, I can only imagine a PS5 powering a higher res display actually getting pretty close to being a highly usable experience with a lot less niggly complaints to moan about. But the tracking for the headset and the peripherals needs to be 1:1. Much of what is special about VR is lost without those working 100%.
 
Aug 23, 2007
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#41
Just as the PS1 should have been the PS2 from the start, so much better. ;)
Not a fair comparison at all. Better tracking solutions were out there, and Sony decided to rely on tech they had from the previous generation. This isn't about power and leaps in generations.

My PSVR experience has been spotty at best, but it most definitely falls apart when that thing has to track move controllers in a 3D space. A camera tracking LED lights just wasn't the right move. There are too many variables that can go wrong from individual user setups.
 
Jun 2, 2008
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#42
I'm hoping they come out with V2 move controllers which have analog sticks and better tracking. Other than that I can't complain too much. Sure, a 4K headset eventually would be nice but we're probably another few years away from consoles supporting that.
 
#43
It's not perfect but nowhere near 'ridiculous mess' thats hyperbole, it does what it accomplishes what it needs to and works good for the games I tried with it
Very true.

For old tech, they work pretty well, especially considering they were never designed for VR and while there are limits to what they can do, I've had no major issues using them when using PSVR.
 
Apr 11, 2014
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#44
Better tracking solutions were out there, and Sony decided to rely on tech they had from the previous generation.
The price plays a huge role here, also Sony would have had to massively postpone the release if they had adopted Lighthouse that late in development. Remember they worked on the tech for about 5 years before it hit the stores.

And I think it was a good compromise, not nearly as bad as you describe. It sure isn't the best solution but it allows some neat experiences and games. That said, I do want them to make it much more reliable in the next generation, no question.
 
Aug 7, 2015
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#45
So I guess I shouldn't even consider buying PS VR until this version is out right
I have a PSVR and no regrets. If you like new tech, and think it might be up your ally, it probably is. None of the VR headsets are perfect right now, but that doesn't mean it's not impressive. It's also great if your hosting people, it's been the thing to do when I've had friends over.
 
Feb 10, 2005
27,194
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Edinburgh, Scotland
twitter.com
#47
GamesIndustry.biz reporting on article: http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articl...e-like-tracking-system-hints-at-wireless-psvr

Also it's noted that the patent hints at wireless functionality: http://uploadvr.com/new-patent-suggests-sony-working-vive-like-tracking-psvr/
Intriguingly, the description for this figure notes that the headset may be linked to a computing device (aka: the PS4) wirelessly via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, radio frequency, protocol or other methods. Could that suggest that Sony is also working on a wireless version of PSVR?