The next update for the Oculus Rift will make it possible to use more than one infrared camera to detect your presence in the real and virtual world, massively improving its tracking accuracy and potentially making room scale much more viable. As expected however, two sensors is likely to be the most common set up, so that’s what developers are creating content for the most.
When we looked at the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive earlier this year and asked which one you should buy right now, room scale tracking was a big plus for the Vive. Although the Rift was capable of wider tracking than just standing and seated, its restricted area and lack of chaperone system meant that the Vive was certainly the more mobile of VR solutions.
However that’s not going to be so cut and dry when Oculus launches Touch later this year, as it will bring with it a second tracking camera, making quite a big difference to the Rift’s tracking area size and tracking ability. Theoretically it could utilise four cameras, which with USB extenders to place them around the room, could make them track even more efficiently than the Vive’s Lighthouse stations.
Reality Check VR certainly thinks so in his latest video:[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIrC7B8YORE’]
That said, most Rift gamers are not going to use more than two, since a second camera will come with the Touch controllers (thanks TechCrunch). Oculus VR has from the start, suggested that these two cameras should not be placed opposite one another, but in parallel in-front of the gamer, allowing for solid tracking of the headset and controllers in forward facing, 180 degree experiences.
We’ll need these sensors to be purchasable by themselves at a reasonable price, before we see many Rift gamers kitting themselves out with a tonne of cameras. We may all need extra USB ports too, since each one requires its own USB 3.0 connection.
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KitGuru Says: The tracking in that video does indeed look impressive, but the Rift stops being the more cost effective a solution if you need to pay for Touch and two extra cameras on top. I’m also convinced that we need a Chaperone system for the Rift before roomscale really becomes viable.