uSens, the 3D gesture and position tracking technology provider for VR and AR, pointed out that the sophisticated sensors will be added to VR headsets for much higher end headsets. uSens, Intel RealSense China, and G0bi Partners discussed the future development of VR at TechCrunch Beijing. 

“HMD Companies will add sensors for the interactivity in next few years. There will eye tracking sensor, depth sensor from Intel and hand tracking sensors for human computer interaction from uSens. Future headsets will have these sensors, and that’s the biggest change that will happen next year,” Jan Olaf Gaudestad, head of department of business at uSens says.

Hardware Is The Bottleneck

The big discussion in the panel was whether the software (content) or the hardware is the bottleneck. Usens sees the hardware is the current bottleneck.

“In the hardware point of view, if you look at that the resolution of our eyes is 16K. The screen resolution that our eyes can handle doesn’t exist today. There are no GPUs that can render 16K resolution,” Mr. Gaudestad says. “The current technology is 4K resolution and that is on larger panels, not small screens that can fit into a headset. In addition, to broadcast so much data needed to display 16K resolution on each screen one needs a lot faster mobile networks and 5G will be a key contributor to the emergence of the mobile headset that will provide a fully immersive experience.”

In order to provide higher resolution mobile-based headsets, uSens has developed an algorithm for 6DOF (degrees of freedom) head position and 3D hand tracking. It requires an efficient algorithm that can run on current mobile processors to track the user’s head and hands, the company says. These sensors would allow users to interact using their hands, and could possibly replace the need for controllers.

Intel also provides hand tracking technology to VR. Intel Realsense provides finger tracking, facial analysis, speech recognition, and 3D scanning technology which can be applied to VR.

“We need all-in-one mobile headset with quality processors and sensors. It will free our hands, and users will be able to take their phone out and enjoy the VR. We need more content like games, and something easy for us to use,” Zhenyu Tang, director at Intel RealSense China says.

VR Investment

In VR investment, even though the VR market has not fully matured yet, the panelists mostly agreed that this year is the right time to invest in VR.

“Users are still learning about VR, and companies are learning about users, too. Companies and consumers are on their way to know each other better,” Ken Xu, managing partner at Gobi Partners says. “We will see more commercialization and maturing companies throughout the next three to five years. This is a good time to invest in VR, if you want to have your finger in the pie from the beginning.”

“For VR, AR, and MR, it’s the golden time to invest, and it’s good news for VR companies. Visual tracking sensors and high processing chips will boost hardware to be more competitive,” Mr. Tang added.

Image Credit: TechNode