After you’ve used PC-based VR by means of full-body positional tracking, like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, you jump to look at mobile VR, which only tracks head spin, in a different way. Specifically, the high-end tracked stuff makes mobile VR appear pretty watered-down by judgment.
VicoVR is the name of the latest sensor, headset and motion controller combination for smartphone-based VR presently trying to persuade backers on Indiegogo. In theory, this seems much like the mobile VR magic bullet we’ve been anxiously waiting for. External sensor (looking like a Kinect) that tracks leaning, standing, crouching as well as walking, along with a wireless gesture controller to keep in track hand movement and object handling. And it supports the Google Daydream VR, the consumer replacement to Google Cardboard.
But don’t assume this to be the spark that changes today’s no tracking from the neck down mobile VR into somewhat more like the Vive. First, with no practical demos, we have no impression how good this product’s tracking is. If a huge company like Sony can introduce a customer VR headset with borderline unfeasible motion controller-tracking, we are not holding our breath for an indie corporation running a crowdfunding crusade to do better. Watching the pitch video, you’ll take notice that the actors demoing VicoVR’s tracking are creating very deliberate gestures. PSVR taught us that VR that needs you to adjust your natural movement to accommodate the tech is, well, VR that’s going to sense amazingly unusual. It’s the tech’s work to adapt to normal movement.
And comparable to Daydream’s reference design controller, the VicoVR’s system seems to use a controller – singular – with no observable support for dual controllers. So, prepare to be one-handed in every tracked game.
Even if the tracking is satisfactory, developers will be required to adapt their current mobile VR games to back the positional tracking. This industry-wide alteration will come at some point, but it’s difficult to understand that happening until the Gear VR or Daydream legitimately support their particular positional tracking hardware (either internal or external) … at which point, this sensor will most probably become inappropriate. Several crowdfunding campaigns are trying to enhance features that the big players haven’t added thus far.
VicoVR claims it does support Unity and Unreal Engine 4, so who knows, maybe extensive dev support won’t be quite as impossible a peak to measure as it gives the impression to be.
The VicoVR system has closed its successful funding on Indiegogo, with a $219 pledge in receipt of the full system, with a sensor, headset, and controller. Isolated components can also be had for reduced pledges (and you can make use of it with other Cardboard/Daydream headsets). The company announced at the beginning of this year that it will start shipping and shall provide tracking to all the consumers for assurity.