Open-World Virtual Reality Headset Tracking

Todd E. Humphreys, Ronnie Xian Thong Kor, Peter A. Iannucci, and James E. Yoder

Abstract: A novel outdoor Virtual Reality (VR) concept called Open-World Virtual Reality (OWVR) is presented that combines precise GNSS positioning and a smartphone-grade inertial sensor to provide globally-referenced centimeter-and-degreeaccurate tracking of the VR headset. Unlike existing augmented and virtual reality systems, which perform camera-based inside-out headset tracking relative to a local reference frame (e.g., an ad-hoc frame fixed to a living room), OWVR’s globally-referenced tracking enables a novel VR experience in which the user’s outdoor exploration is robust to extremes in lighting conditions and local visual texture. This paper introduces the OWVR concept and presents a prototype OWVR system with two candidate sensor fusion architectures, one loosely and one tightly coupled. Comparative performance is evaluated in terms of tracking accuracy and availability of an integer-aperture-test-validated fixed tracking solution. For scenarios with degraded GNSS availability, which will be typical for outdoor VR, the tightly-coupled architecture is shown to offer a critical tracking robustness advantage.
Published in: Proceedings of the 33rd International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS+ 2020)
September 21 - 25, 2020
Pages: 2931 - 2947
Cite this article: Humphreys, Todd E., Kor, Ronnie Xian Thong, Iannucci, Peter A., Yoder, James E., "Open-World Virtual Reality Headset Tracking," Proceedings of the 33rd International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS+ 2020), , September 2020, pp. 2931-2947.
https://doi.org/10.33012/2020.17635
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