VicoVR launched an Indiegogo campaign to help fund the production of the company’s wireless body tracking device designed for mobile VR HMDs.
The VicoVR Sensor lets you use your whole body in VR, while wearing an inexpensive mobile VR HMD, such as Google Cardboard or Samsung Gear VR. The VicoVR sensor scans the room and maps your body’s movements by tracking up to 19 different body joints, for up to two people at once, and it uses a 3D vision processing unit (VPU) to calculate your positions before sending the data to your device.
The VicoVR sensor uses a Bluetooth signal to transmit the tracking data wirelessly to your phone (it's compatible with iOS and Android devices). The company is also offering a wireless hand controller that it said “comes in handy when fighting zombies or playing ping pong.”
We had a chance to see a developer version of the VicoVR sensor in action at CES this year. The hardware was working, but we noticed some latency between the player’s movement and what was shown on screen. We were told that it was the Bluetooth signal that was causing the delay. The crowdfunding page boasts accurate and responsive full body tracking, which is credited to the company’s 3DiVi tracking software. VicoVR said it is “constantly working to improve quality of our body tracking software,” so perhaps there have been some big breakthroughs in the last five months.
In January, VicoVR’s Business Development Director, Dmitry Morozov, told Tom’s Hardware that the sensor would retail for around $270, and that it would be available for $200 via a crowdfunding campaign, which proved to be not far from the mark: VicoVR is offering a few different packages, starting with the VicoVR Gaming Bundle for $219, which includes the sensor, a VicoVR VR HMD, the wireless controllers and a micro USB power supply.
You can also opt for the VicoVR Buddy pack, which gives you two controllers and HMDs. If the controller and HDM are of no interest to you, you can pick up just a sensor and power supply for $174. Two hundred dolalrs will buy you a sensor and a headset. VicoVR is also offering the controller for $35 and the HMD for $30.
VicoVR is seeking $75,000 so it can produce the sensors.
VicoVR expects to ship hardware to backers in November. Backers will also receive 10 games that have been specially designed for use with VicoVR, including Archery Range 3D, Moon Bird VR, Box Fighter, Ping Pong VR, and more.
Not to be overlooked by the higher-end HMDs like the Rift and Vive, consumers looking to get into VR have many lower-cost options to consider. You can choose a Google Cardboard viewer to get a taste of virtual reality for just a few dollars, for example.
Each option comes with its advantages and its disadvantages: The mobile solutions are cheap and portable, but they lack spatial and body tracking; and PC connected options offer advanced tracking, but leave you tethered to your computer. VicoVR offers a solution intended to combine the advantages of both approaches.