Vicon, one of the world's largest suppliers of precision motion capture and tracking systems, has announced Origin earlier this week, unveiling a virtual reality system designed specifically for the growing location-based VR industry. The system comprises three new pieces of hardware, as well as a new automated software platform called Evoke, which is described by the manufacturer as featuring "unbreakable tracking" along with "auto-healing" capabilities between VR sessions, leading to minimal requirements for training and maintenance.
Specifically, the three pieces of hardware employed by the Vicon Origin system include Viper, a tracking camera that works with active marker technology out of the box; Pulsar which is a wearable tracking cluster that can attach to a wearer's body or VR head-mounted display, designed to emit active infrared LED patterns; and Beacon which is a piece of hardware that handles the wireless synchronization between the Viper cameras and Pulsar motion-tracking clusters. All of these hardware components work together with the Evoke automated software platform, complete with a full-featured API which boasts seamless game engine integration with the ability to run entirely in the background, according to the OEM. In practice, the system should allow players in the same location-based VR environment to be visible to one another via fully animated avatars, and unlike most other consumer-grade VR solutions lacking this in-depth tracking technology, Vicon Origin should allow a user to experience their own body movements in the real world being mirrored by the virtual environment with a high degree of accuracy.
The location-based VR industry seems to be growing, and last year various analyst reports suggested that LBVR will become one of the VR market's main driving forces, at least until consumer awareness increases and VR solutions become more accessible to the general public. It's worth noting that location-based VR differs from the usual VR arcades in that, while the latter promotes a more stationary experience, in contrast, LBVR uses the surrounding environment – as well as other VR participants – as the building blocks for the VR world, making it somewhat similar to augmented reality in this respect. The Vicon Origin system will be showcased at SIGGRAPH 2018 between August 14-16 and show attendees can experience the technology at booth #1239.