Tech News, Virtual Reality

Sony Patents Tracking System For PSVR And Its Similar To Vive

Everyone tech minded is buzzing over Virtual Reality, and the potential there is within it. Hardware, of course, has a major role to play to put words to action. Talking about VR hardware, there are two groups, ones being fully immersive – Oculus, Vive and the others more accessible but with fewer features – PSVR, Daydream.

However, for PSVR and Sony things haven’t been rosy like they were at the launch. It seems that the VR headset has almost disappeared from conversations amidst tracking quality complaints.

Sony Interactive Entertainment’s new patent, published earlier this month shows signs that the company is working on fixing these positional tracking issues.

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A look into this patent application reveals this fix could be something similar in concept to the VR tracking system of HTC Vive. Apparently, this will be an evolution of the camera based tracking system of the PSVR. The patent details as follows:

A method for determining an orientation of a photo sensor of a controller with respect to a projector is described

This indicates a use of beam forming techniques (through the use of light and mirrors) to track player location w.r.t a controller like DualShock 4.

The mechanism is outlined as follows:

  1. Generating, by a beam generator of the projector, a beam.
  2. Modifying a direction of travel of the beam using a micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) mirror that moves in a pattern, deflecting the beam, calculating a time at which the beam is detected and determining based on the pattern and the time an orientation of the beam to determine the orientation of the photosensor.

Though it sounds technical, basically, it is outlining a similar mechanism existing in Vive.

SONY PSVR tracking system patentThe above image illustrates the external tracking system – combination of a head mounted display and a projector. Though such external tracking solution has its own drawbacks, it is accurate compared to the inbuilt tracking system of PSVR.

At present, the in-built tracking system of PSVR uses light signals from the head mounted display and a PlayStation camera to create the immersive experience.

This mechanism seemed to work well but had no answer to frequent player mobility issues caused from twitching within scenes without any player movements.

However, it is unclear if Sony will improve its existing PSVR or launch a newer version – PSVR 2 based on this tech. either way, it is great to see Sony working on strengthening its VR tech, probably to face the future markets.

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