SteamVR > General Discussions > Topic Details
Nixon506E Jan 16, 2014 @ 8:06pm
Steam & Oculus Collaborate on Crystal Cove Prototype
How come Oculus and Valve decided on a camera as the method for tracking movement and not magnetics like the STEM System or the Razer Hydra? I feel as if they could even make it cheaper and more accurate by removing the accelerometers for rotational tracking and use solely the magnetics. It could really provide for an extremely precise all around tracking system.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 comments
cannongod Jan 17, 2014 @ 5:11am 
It's likely due to cost reasons: both for the manufacturer and the customer. LEDs and a webcam are hardly going to break the bank, providing an adequate head tracking solution, while overall lowering the £££ barrier for entry into VR :)

Also, can't wait for my 5-point STEM System to show up this summer! :D
Last edited by cannongod; Jan 17, 2014 @ 5:12am
Kazioo Jan 17, 2014 @ 7:29pm 
Because optical was better. They tested magnetic, ultrasonic and some exotic solutions and optical had the best latency, precision and accuracy.

Razer Hydra is quite precise but inaccurate:

Here is the proof:
Last edited by Kazioo; Jan 17, 2014 @ 7:29pm
doping Jan 18, 2014 @ 7:39am 
Like Kazioo said optical tracking is much more reliable. Just because other optical tracking solutions from the past like the Kinect were inacurate and had a lot of problems does not mean that optical tracking as a whole is bad. It can be very fast, precise, cheap and it has no drift issues. The Valve VR demo also used optical tracking to determine the positioning (although they had a different approach), and no one was disappointed. Same with the Crystal Cove prototype - not a single person was disappointed with the tracking quality.
Nixon506E Jan 19, 2014 @ 9:46pm 
I don't think that optical is a a bad choice I just think that the magnetic method provides all of the variables that the many different sensors use in one package which would certainly make life easier for their developers. The only real issue I have with the way optical works is that line of sight is always required and therefore turning 360 degrees would not be possible as it would if you used another system and so future versions of the hardware would most certainly not want to use such a system as full range motion is a common concern I hear when talking about the fact that the Oculus is a wired system.
deadering Jan 20, 2014 @ 2:25pm 
As the others have said, it's cheaper and much more reliable.

They did not come up with this solution randomly or overnight. They've done extensive testing and tried many solutions, including magnetic tracking. So far this has just been one of their more promising designs, though Crystal Cove is not neccesarily going to be like the final release. It was meant to test this method of tracking.

It is unknown at this time if the consumer release will use this method of tracking or if it will have only camera based tracking. I feel the camera would be much more effective with LED's on the back of the Rift, though they have to realise that.
SimianSwing Mar 3, 2014 @ 10:06am 
I hope they give the option to turn of their tracking-solution. The optical system wont let me turn around, and I am looking forward to all the freedom I will get with the stem-system. HalfLifeVR-mod:) I guess the answer to why they didnt go with stem from the start is that a base-system with one tracker for the oculus rift would raise the price a bit, but I dont think latency or accuracy is the issue here (if stem holds its promise). I certainly hope that their trackingsolution dont add significant weight to the Rift, or adds any heat in front of the eyes.
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SteamVR > General Discussions > Topic Details
Date Posted: Jan 16, 2014 @ 8:06pm
Posts: 6