Towards usable underwater virtual reality systems
PubDate: April 2017
Teams: University of Texas at San Antonio；Kennesaw State University
Writers: Raphael Costa; Rongkai Guo; John Quarles
The objective of this research is to compare the effectiveness of different tracking devices underwater. There have been few works in aquatic virtual reality (VR) – i.e., VR systems that can be used in a real underwater environment. Moreover, the works that have been done have noted limitations on tracking accuracy. Our initial test results suggest that inertial measurement units work well underwater for orientation tracking but a different approach is needed for position tracking. Towards this goal, we have waterproofed and evaluated several consumer tracking systems intended for gaming to determine the most effective approaches. First, we informally tested infrared systems and fiducial marker based systems, which demonstrated significant limitations of optical approaches. Next, we quantitatively compared inertial measurement units (IMU) and a magnetic tracking system both above water (as a baseline) and underwater. By comparing the devices rotation data, we have discovered that the magnetic tracking system implemented by the Razer Hydra is more accurate underwater as compared to a phone-based IMU. This suggests that magnetic tracking systems should be further explored for underwater VR applications.