Oculus Working with Dedicated Cameras to Add Position Tracking to Gear VR
Samsung’s Gear VR is compatible with all of the company’s flagship smartphones starting with the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. Manufactured by Oculus, Gear VR is currently the best VR head-mounted display (HMD) out there, that is powered by a mobile device.
The device features high resolution imagery, 3D spatial audio technologies, and 360-degree rotation tracking; however what particularly downplays Gear VR compared to the Oculus Rift is that the former completely lacks positional tracking.
John Carmack, Oculus VR CTO, revealed Wednesday that they are working to bring positional tracking to the GearVR, as well. Interestingly, instead of making use of the cameras that are built into Galaxy phones, Carmack said, Oculus is working with dedicated cameras to build the inside-out tracking system for the mobile VR HMD.
He noted that positional tracking with a smartphone camera will work, but it does require a static marker which Oculus is not ready to go for.
In other words, don't expect general purpose position tracking to show up as a software-update feature for existing GearVR systems.
— John Carmack (@ID_AA_Carmack) May 4, 2016
Carmack saying the position tracking integration will take more than just a software update hints at an upgrade for the existing hardware. Or, who knows a next generation mobile HMD could be heading our way. If it does happen, we can expect the new Gear VR to bring some major features on board, including support for the USB Type-C connector.