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Soon you will be able to walk in virtual reality with an iPhone and a few Airpods.

Accurate full-body tracking is useful for everything from fitness apps to games to virtual reality, but no one wants to be squeezed into those tight-fitting body-tracking suits that Hollywood uses to create visuals. As it turns out, there’s a less fiddly solution that uses devices you already carry around with you all day, like headphones or an iPhone.
Carnegie Mellon University’s Future Interfaces Group (FIG) has shared some new research on full-body tracking, and while it can’t match the accuracy of million-dollar bodysuits and studios, the new method is still accurate enough to improve fitness tracking accuracy. . or allow users to translate their movements into a virtual reality world without any special equipment.
FIG’s research is actually reminiscent of the patents Apple has filed over the past few years, as the only devices it relies on are smartwatches, smartphones, and wireless headphones, which are now equipped with accelerometers, gyroscopes, and other motion detection sensors. more advanced features like fitness tracking and even Spacial Audio that Apple AirPods offer. The data from these sensors is available to developers via an SDK for use in third-party apps and accessories, but FIG researchers collect this data as a way to intelligently calculate the user’s whole body posture using a tool called IMUPoser.
Capturing an actor’s performance and turning them into a video game character or a CGI movie character requires capturing the movement of hundreds of track points. But here, a smartphone in a trouser pocket, a smartwatch on the wrist, and headphones in the ears provide enough data to intelligently guess the user’s body position, including the position of their limbs, as well as whether they are standing upright or squatting.
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This method is not guaranteed to be close to 100% accurate because it makes a lot of assumptions to make up for the minimum amount of trace data it uses. For example, if it detects a walking person, it assumes that the other side of the arm and leg tracked by the smartphone and smartwatch is also moving, just out of sync (which is a natural human gait). Of course, accuracy drops even more when the IMUPoser is forced to rely on data from two devices, or even one, but many of us can’t imagine our smart devices aren’t with us all the time.
Will this tool replace more powerful body tracking tools? Definitely not any time soon, but it could be used to improve and refine data collected from motion sensors already used in smart devices. Many fitness trackers try to guess what you’re doing and this tool can help reduce the number of times users need to fix them without any modification or upgrade to the physical hardware.

Post time: May-05-2023