Vicon launches Tracker 3, enhances user experience for VR

Engineers gain a more immersive experience for VR-driven product development

Vicon, the motion capture technology specialist for the engineering, life sciences and entertainment industries, today announces the launch of Tracker 3– thelatest version of Vicon’s engineering object tracking software. The upgrade greatly improves the quality and precision of data used in virtual reality (VR) experiences, and now includes native integration with MathWorks Simulink, a simulation and Model-Based Design application. The upgrade is designed to address key issues that often affect the perception of realism and physical presence in an immersive environment.

Virtual reality has been used in the industrial design of cars, robotics and aeroplanes in order to test design principles, ergonomics, aerodynamics and beyond. With VR becoming more pervasive in consumer related applications, demands on quality and realism have been increasing. Tracker 3 takes a major leap forward to meet these current and future demands.

Enhanced data quality

Significant improvements have been made to increase the quality of the data, in particular to tackle the amount of unwanted noise -- inaccuracies found in any tracking environment. This noise historically has been reduced through the application of filters but this results in increased latency – a delay between the object’s actual motion and the system response. By implementing new computer vision algorithms, Tracker 3 captures a higher quality of data which then requires less filtering – ultimately enhancing the user’s experience.

For instance, the improved quality of data and reduced latency will enable engineers to take advantage of a heightened sense of immersion when using VR for product design. With greater tracking precision, virtual environments become more believable.

Increased flexibility

Integration with model-based design software, Mathworks Simulink provides users with a faster feedback loop. Data can now be natively integrated from the Vicon system in real-time. Simulink integration will also allow Vicon data to be received by the hardware platform itself. Consequently enhancing the control system design by streamlining the process of incorporating the tracking data, and reducing the latency as experienced in previous techniques.

This increased openness will be particularly beneficial for robotic engineers as the integration will assist in the testing of robotic control systems and in ensuring robots move closer towards human qualities and movement. The Vicon data can be used to prototype the control system with greater efficiency.

Greg Canada, technical director, EON Reality said, “I can see a big difference in the quality of my VR application with Tracker 3. It makes the easy-to-use Tracker even better, especially for the very non-technical clients that we have.”

“With Tracker 3, we’ve taken on board feedback from our customers and introduced many new features which massively enhance the believability of virtual reality experiences. We’ve also simplified workflows and users can now track more objects faster than ever before.” Warren Lester, engineering product manager at Vicon.