Full-body VR tracking makes it possible to bring real-world movements into virtual worlds for enhanced immersion and more rewarding social interactions. Unfortunately, current VR systems don’t come with full-body tracking, and add-on trackers are expensive.
But that’s about to change because a Swedish startup called Stonx has just opened preorders for its affordable full-body tracking kit, called Cookie-Body Tracking DK1.
The startup was founded by three teenage students, Anton Bill Månsson, David Möller, and Mohammed Adigüzel, with the help of JA Sweden, a non-profit organization working, among other things, to promote entrepreneurship among Swedish students.
The kit costs 600,00 SEK (around $80), and it consists of four passive trackers (called Cookies), one beacon, three straps, and one extension cord. The beacon consists of a 120 Hz camera with an 85×55 degree field of view and an array of LEDs, and it connects via USB 2.0. All the magic is done by computer vision algorithms, whose purpose is to track the movement of each Cookie with sub-1cm accuracy.
“How are we able to achieve such a low price?” ask themselves the three teenagers behind Stonx on their website. “The short answer is math… tons of math. And then the slightly less short answer is that it turns out the electronic parts needed aren’t as expensive as big companies make it up to be. To be fair, though, our method is cheaper than the others’ since we compensate with fancy math,” they answer their own question.
In its current configuration, Cookie-Body Tracking DK1 offers only front-facing body tracking, but Stonx plans to sell the final version of the kit with two beacons and support for 360-degree tracking. While the final version will be more than twice as expensive as the dev kit, costing 1390 SEK (around $165), it will still be far more affordable than currently available solutions, such as HTC Vive Trackers, which cost $99 each.
Cookie-Body Tracking DK1 is compatible with any headset that connects to SteamVR, and you can order it right now from Stonx’s official website.