Bosch Sensortec has taken to the electronica China trade show to tout its latest contribution to the technology industry in the form of a 6-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) intended for use in AR and VR hardware. The Bosch Sensortec BMI085 IMU is an attempt to create a more realistic experience in a streamlined form factor. That's accomplished thanks to both a 3-axis 16-bit MEMS acceleration sensor and a 3-axis 16-bit MEMS gyroscope, which the company has packed into a 3mm x 4.5mm x 0.95mm cube. That package manages a claimed consistent latency of under 3ms and the closed-loop gyroscope, in conjunction with the low-noise design of the accelerometer results in an extremely stable system. Perhaps best of all, the new IMU is backward compatible with Bosch's previous entry, the BMI055, so it can be integrated pin-for-pin with minimal hassle. It does that through the above-mentioned improvements but also manages to maintain stability via a stable temperature. That, in turn, helps to maintain precision in the components.
The purpose of the new IMU is to help developers and hardware engineers begin to address issues with motion sickness and interrupted immersion, which is often caused by the lag between head motion and on-screen reaction. Motion sickness and related symptoms have been major hurdles for both the VR and AR wearables industry. Both those and mixed reality hold a lot of potential for pushing the entire tech industry forward and changing the way users both interact and consume media. Moreover, in combination with A.I., the technology stands to have a serious impact on everyday life for workers across a multitude of professions. However, since users commonly need to take breaks at regular short intervals to prevent physical ailment, the technology hasn't entered into the mainstream and many of those applications haven't been thoroughly explored.
Bosch Sensortec really couldn't have picked a better time to introduce the world to the new BMI085 IMU. The company has said it will be available to distributors by the end of May, which just so happens to be right around the time that Google will be debuting a new, vastly superior display for VR applications. With any luck, manufacturers responsible for next-generation virtual augmentation hardware will take advantage of both to deliver a truly mainstream-ready experience.