Google Debuts ‘WorldSense’ Headset Tracking Technology

May 17, 2017 - Written By Dominik Bosnjak

Google on Wednesday announced WorldSense, its new proprietary tracking technology designed for virtual reality (VR) headsets. The company’s latest push in the VR segment was unveiled during the opening Keynote of Google I/O 2017 that started earlier today in Mountain View, California, with Google asserting that WorldSense is yet another result of its 3D mapping platform Tango and related advancements. The solution was meant to improve upon the design of existing head-mounted displays and pave the way for an entirely new (sub)type of such products, as it can allow for the creation of completely standalone headsets that don’t rely on smartphones or PCs to work. Google already confirmed that several such devices — developed by HTC Vive and Lenovo — are presently in the works and will be available to developers in the near future.

The Alphabet-owned company has yet to reveal the technical details on its latest tracking solution and the tech giant’s representatives mostly focused on what the new technology can achieve rather than how it can achieve it during the announcement of WorldSense at Google I/O 2017. The current version of the platform can apparently track users in 3D space, accurately identifying their movements without relying on external sensors. In theory, WorldSense should be able to mimic the room-scale VR experience offered by the HTC Vive without confining users to the limits of a single, sensor-equipped room. Furthermore, it should be able to do so without using any kind of cables or peripherals.

While the WorldSense technology was announced at Google’s annual developer conference and the company is now primarily working on introducing it to VR content creators as quickly as possible, the Mountain View-based Internet giant is also looking towards the future and its upcoming commercialization, as evidenced by the first WorldSense trailer that can be seen below and is entirely focused on the consumer-grade capabilities of the solution. Ultimately, it remains to be seen whether Google’s new VR-oriented technology will be able to deliver on the firm’s promises while being cost-effective for consumer electronics manufacturers to implement, but regardless, more details on the availability of WorldSense should be available later this year.