Facebook Patent | Tracking controllers of a virtual reality system

Patent: Tracking controllers of a virtual reality system

Publication Number:

Publication Date: 2019-01-29

Applicants: Facebook

Abstract

A virtual reality (VR) system tracks the position of a controller. The VR system includes an image tracking system comprising of a number of fixed cameras, and a headset worn by the user that includes an imaging device to capture images of a controller operated by the user. The controller includes a set of features disposed on the surface of the controller. The image tracking system provides a first view of the controller. The imaging device mounted on the headset provides a second view of the controller. Each view of the controller (i.e., from the headset and from the image tracking system) provides a distinct set of features observed on the controller. The first and second sets of features are identified from the captured images and a pose of the controller is determined using the first set of features and the second set of features.

Background

The present disclosure generally relates to virtual reality systems, and more specifically relates to tracking of controllers for virtual reality systems.

Virtual reality (VR) systems typically generate and simulate a virtual world for a user. These VR systems may include various components, such as a headset and controller to provide information to a user and receive a user’s input to the VR system. To improve the realism of the virtual world, the VR system may track the user’s body position and movement. In particular, the VR system may track the movement of a controller associated with the VR system, such as its position and orientation in space.

Summary

A virtual reality (VR) system tracks movement of a controller using at least two cameras that capture the controller from more than one perspective. The VR system includes a camera mounted on a headset worn by the user, as well as a camera positioned away from the user and directed towards the user and the controller. The VR system includes a headset, an image tracking system, a console, and a controller. The image tracking system includes a set of fixed cameras to image the headset worn by a user and the controller operated by the user. The headset includes an imaging device (camera) configured to capture images including the controller. Thus, the image tracking system provides a first view of the controller from a distance away from the user’s location. The camera mounted on the headset provides a second view of the controller from the location of the user, providing an image of the controller from the location of the user (i.e., the user’s perspective). The console generates a virtual world and identifies the location and orientation of the controller based on the first and second views provided by the headset and the image tracking system. By using the first and second views, the console may determine the position of the controller with greater confidence than when a single camera is used.

In one embodiment, the controller includes a set of detectors disposed on the surface of the controller that may be easily detected by the cameras. In one example, the detectors include lights, such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs), located on the surface of the controller. The detectors may be disposed on the controller such that each orientation of the controller provides a different view of the detectors. In this embodiment, each view of the controller (i.e., from the headset and from the image tracking system) provides a distinct set and orientation of detectors on the controller shown by an image taken from that view. These different views of the features may be used to improve detection of the controller orientation.

Additionally, the camera mounted to the headset provides a possible backup imaging of the controller when the controller is occluded from the fixed cameras. The console receives the images from the different imaging devices and determines a position and movement of the controller within the virtual mapping of the local area. Based at least in part on the determined position and movement of the controller within the virtual mapping of the local area, the console generates video information that is provided to the headset for presentation by the electronic display.

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