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A new publication about the tracking system is available!

A Wii remote-based infrared-optical tracking system, Entertainment Computing, Elsevier



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Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) applications need, in general, tracking systems able to measure position and orientation of rigid bodies. They are usually defined 6-DOF tracking systems. High precision, lightness, and high update rates are the main characteristics that made infrared-optical trackers (IOTs) widely employed in indoor VR and AR environments.
In particular, passive optical systems use markers coated with a retro-reflective material to reflect light back that is generated near the cameras lens. The centroid of the marker is estimated as a position within the captured two dimensional image. The grayscale value of each pixel can be used to provide sub-pixel accuracy by finding the centroid of a gaussian distribution. An object with markers attached at known positions  is used to calibrate the cameras and obtain position and lens distortion of each camera. If two calibrated cameras see a marker, a three dimensional fix can be obtained. Three or more markers define a so called target, and a 6-DOF tracker has to be able to track orientation and position of a target (i.e., a rigid body).

Several systems are commercially available. For instance, Advanced Realtime Tracking GmbH and Natural Point, Inc. provide complete and professional solutions for motion capture and target tracking. Unfortunately, prices of the aforementioned systems are in the range of tens of thousands dollars. These systems are not, in general, affordable for small educational institutions (e.g., high schools), small private laboratories, and end users.
A recent work proposes an affordable infrared-optical pose-tracking system for room-sized virtual environments. Low latency, sub-millimeter location resolution, good accuracy (±0.5cm), and up to 60Hz update rate are the main system characteristics. The cost of the solution proposed in (named iotracker) is in the range from eight to ten thousand dollars (depending on the configuration).
Although the price of the system proposed in is noticeably lower than other commercial systems, a solution to further reduce it of an order of magnitude is herein proposed. In this paper it is demonstrated that the employment of consumer electronics (in particular, Wiimotes™ used as IR cameras) allows to deploy a 6-DOF infrared-optical tracker at a cost lower than one thousand dollars, with precision and accuracy characteristics consistent with VR and AR applications.

Preliminary experiments have been carried out to test system capabilities to track in real-time up to four markers (i.e., a target) within a working volume of about 12m3. Moreover, tracking information are used in 3D applications in order to interactively reproduce movements of the real object within a VR environment.


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