NDI > Measurement Sciences > Applications > Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality

The realism and immersiveness of a virtual 3D environment depends on the quality of the VR/simulator system’s motion tracking.  That’s where the electromagnetic tracking capabilities of the 3D Guidance® trakSTAR and driveBAY™ electromagnetic tracking system comes in. Consider how the ability to merge real and virtual worlds, and create a truly interactive experience are enhanced when the following factors are met:

  • Real-world and virtual movements match up seamlessly
  • Position of objects/body in virtual environment stays consistent (no drift)
  • Minimal delay/lag between real-world and virtual movements
  • Virtual movements are smooth and steady

Whether it’s for training, gaming, skills rehearsal, or research applications, users must be able to simulate real-world movements and scenarios in a way that feels believable.

Track Complete Range of Motion

The trakSTAR and driveBAY electromagnetic (EM) trackers integrate into OEM virtual reality and simulation systems to provide real-time 6DOF motion tracking. Using micro sensors that embed into handheld objects or attach to the body, motion is tracked in six degrees of freedom. Users can enjoy natural, complete range of motion: X-Y-Z translations and yaw/pitch/roll rotations are tracked. These sensors are used in conjunction with an electromagnetic transmitter – no line of sight is needed.

No Line of Sight Restrictions

This functionality, combined with the 6DOF tracking, allows for unrestricted motion tracking within the 3D/simulation environment. It also means that sensors can be embedded into various non-ferrous materials and tools, such as latex mannequins, handheld controllers, or adapted surgical tools, and continuous drift-free tracking is maintained. The trakSTAR and driveBAY EM trackers can ‘see’ the sensor even if it’s not visible; there are no blind spots in the tracking volume.

Seamless Integration and Synchronization

But it’s the fast update rates and accuracy of the trakSTAR and driveBAY electromagnetic tracking system that delivers seamless motion tracking between actual and virtual worlds. Thanks to fast update rates (up to 255 Hz) and low latency, sensor tracking data is instantly localized and visualized in the 3D environment/simulator interface.

High accuracy ensures that real-world and virtual tool/body movements are aligned exactly within the 3D environment. There’s no discrepancy between where tool should be within the virtual space, and where it’s actually displayed. The most subtle of movements—no matter how minute or fast—are visualized with pinpoint accuracy and precision.

With its small hardware footprint, and customizable configuration, the trakSTAR and driveBAY EM trackers provide near-limitless integration options for building a VR/simulation system that’s accurate, fast, and highly realistic.


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