Tracking technology explained

February 8, 2017

Senso is focused on creating completely wireless hands tracking solution, suitable for mobile use. That’s we rely mostly on IMU tracking, without using any external tracking cameras or other solutions like Kinect or LeapMotion.

As you already now, the main problem of IMU-based solutions – is the drifting problem.

We use some of the best IMU-sensors, available on market, together with our custom software, thus lowering the drift as much as possible. It works well in many situations. For example, in a boxing simulation – you won’t ever notice it. But some cases require perfect absolute positioning.

To deal with it, our current SDK version just locks the elbow position in space, so you can not move your elbow, but just rotate it via arc, with elbow-shoulder joint being its center.
So when the hand moves strictly forward or backward – nothing happens.

The software developer can then pull the virtual hand to the “zones of interest”, such as buttons and other interactive elements (e.g. when the hand is close to such area, the coordinates begin to slightly change, moving closer to the zone). This way the process feels very intuitive and natural for user and the drift is not a problem.

Our new SDK version will allow developer to select whether he wants or not this locking to be applied. We also plan to embed this “zones of area” code directly into our SDK, so developers won’t have to deal with it, only providing our API with the coordinates of such zones.

Now we release Senso Glove DK2, which has Lighthouse/SteamVR modules on board.
Those, having HTC Vive, or any other SteamVR tracking station, can now use its external tracking to eliminate the drifting issue.

There is also another solution of the problem – Senso Suit modules. Two modules could be connected to the glove and mounted on elbow and shoulder. This way the hand would be locked at shoulder-spine joint, having much more freedom. Senso Suit is a huge topic, which will be covered on our site soon.

We also want to mention, that our new SDK versions would support all Senso Glove versions, including DK1, and we have no plans to drop support for it in future. Most of the tracking is done via driver software, while the glove mostly transmits raw sensor data. So we can and we would improve Glove tracking performance by software updates in future.

Don’t forget that Senso is coming to GDC later this month! You are welcome to visit our booth at #2142, South Hall, Feb 27 – Mar 3