Forget lasers and cameras, Eonite has a VR add-on that tracks everything itself

Although we have consumer-grade virtual reality headsets out in the wild right now, that doesn’t mean developers have solved all of the biggest puzzles holding back certain aspects of its use. One of the biggest is positional tracking without the need for external sensors, but positional sensor developer Eonite claims to have solved this problem in an affordable way.

Currently virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive use external cameras or laser sensor boxes to detect where you are in the physical space. They track you moving forward and backward, as well as side to side, while the headset detects pitch, yaw, and roll. Microsoft has managed to do away with the need for sensors on its Hololens headset, but that costs thousands of dollars.

What Eonite claims to have done is something similar, but with off-the-shelf depth sensors that operate at low latency and don’t even require much processing power. Moreover, it’s a software solution, so the hardware used doesn’t matter too much. As long as the sensors can produce depth-data, Eonite claims its system can figure out where you are.

More: We have virtual reality. What’s next is straight out of ‘The Matrix’

Purportedly it is accurate enough to enable millimeter-scale tracking and is tuned to be able to pick up things like furniture, shelves, doors, and even items on a desk. Eonite is calling the technology “homescale,” because it claims to allow a user to be in a virtual world and walk around their house without danger.

The technology has been in development for some time, with Eonite planning to use it in the field of robotics and drone technology. While it may still find use in those fields though, we can’t help but be excited about its potential applications within VR and AR.

Eonite is currently working on a Unity SDK which would allow for real-time environment scanning and importing into the virtual world. This could allow you to wander your house in VR, while retaining the ability to ghost into the real world as and when needed, or to augment your already existing reality with digital extras.

We won’t have long to wait to test out Eonite’s claims either, as the firm has it that the first product using its inside-out solution could arrive in the first quarter of 2017.

Others may be hot on its heels, though. As RoadToVR points out, Oculus has a working on a Rift ‘Santa Cruz’ prototype with a similar inside-out tracking solution, so it could be that second-generation VR headsets are not only wireless, but let you walk just about anywhere with them on.

Virtual Reality

How one fan revived the hair-raising terror of Alien: Isolation VR with a mod

Playing Alien: Isolation's virtual reality mode on modern headsets shouldn't be possible, but one enterprising modder has made it so with MotherVR, a simple and effective mod that makes it playable once again.
Gaming

This list of PlayStation 4 exclusives puts its competitors to shame

The PlayStation 4's game library and incredible selection of exclusive games could make anyone with an Xbox One or Nintendo Switch think twice. Here's our list of the latest and greatest PS4 exclusives.
Cars

The VR goggles you wear to shoot alien ships is helping Magna design car parts

Canadian automotive supplier Magna has started using virtual reality in its research and development department. The technology helps engineers get a better view of what they're working on, whether it's an interior part or a powertrain.
Smart Home

Oh, Zuck, no! Facebook rumored to be creating a voice assistant to rival Alexa

Facebook hasn't been a big player in the smart speaker market, but that may be changing: The social media giant is reportedly working on a digital assistant to compete against Alexa and others.
Gaming

Xbox One X vs. PlayStation 4 Pro: Which console is more powerful?

Far from cooling down, the console wars are only getting more intense. We compare Microsoft's Xbox One X to Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro to help you decide which premium console is right for you.
Virtual Reality

Magic Leap One AR headset will be available starting April 1 -- at a high price

The Magic Leap One AR headset is now available for a rather hefty price. Here's everything you need to know about the device, including the price, where it can be purchased, the hardware powering Magic Leap's goggles, and more.
Emerging Tech

Nonny de la Peña wants to put virtual reality within Reach

Telling a story in VR can sometimes pack a punch regular films can’t. As a pioneer in immersive journalism, Nonny de la Peña wants to open that experience to everyone with her Reach platform.
Virtual Reality

Valve Index VR headset revealed, more info coming in May

The Valve Index was teased, confirming rumors that the gaming company is working on its own virtual reality headset. More information about the Valve Index will be coming in May, which could also be the device's release date.
Gaming

Valve may have accidentally leaked the ship date for its VR headset

Due to a mishap, we may have learned that this year will be the summer of Index. Valve published three Index store pages early and, while they featured mostly placeholder text, they revealed the 2019 ship date for the VR headset.
Gaming

Take a trip to a new virtual world with one of these awesome HTC Vive games

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.
Gaming

Immerse yourself in a new universe with these incredible PSVR games

The PSVR has surpassed expectations and along with it comes an incredible catalog of games. There's plenty of amazing experiences to be had so we've put together a list of the best PSVR games available today.
Mobile

A Google patent hints at a new attempt at an augmented reality headset

Google may be working on another augmented reality headset. The company was awarded a patent for an augmented reality headset. Unfortunately, the patent isn't specific as to what the headset will look like.
Gaming

Nintendo is bringing the latest Zelda and Mario games to its VR headset

The Nintendo Labo VR Kit launches this month and two of the Switch's biggest games, Super Mario Odyssey and Breath of the Wild, will get free VR support via an update that goes live a couple of weeks after the VR Kit launch.
Wearables

Army uses modified Microsoft HoloLens 2 for ‘real-life game of Call of Duty’

The U.S. Army gave CNBC an exclusive look at its modified Microsoft HoloLens 2 augmented reality headset. The Integrated Visual Augmentation System, or IVAS, provides various functions for training and combat.