Called Lumitrack, the technology has two components -- projectors and sensors. A structured pattern, which looks something like a very large barcode, is projected over the area to be tracked. Sensor units, either near the projector or on the person or object being tracked, can then quickly and precisely locate movements anywhere in that area.
"What Lumitrack brings to the table is, first, low latency," said
Xiao said Lumitrack also is extremely precise, with sub-millimeter accuracy. Moreover, this performance is achieved at low cost. The sensors require little power and would be inexpensive to assemble in volume. The components could even be integrated into mobile devices, such as smartphones.
Xiao and his collaborators will present their findings at UIST 2013, the
Many approaches exist for tracking human motion, including expensive, highly precise systems used to create computer-generated imagery (CGI) for films. Though Lumitrack's developers have targeted games as an initial application, the technology's combination of low latency, high precision and low cost make it suitable for many applications, including CGI and human-robot interaction.
"We think the core technology is potentially transformative and that you could think of many more things to do with it besides games," Poupyrev said.
A key to Lumitrack is the structured pattern that is projected over the tracking area. Called a binary m-sequence, the series of bars encodes a series of bits in which every sequence of seven bits appears only once. A simple optical sensor can thus quickly determine where it is based on which part of the sequence it sees. When two m-sequences are projected at right angles to each other, the sensor can determine its position in two dimensions; when multiple sensors are used, 3D motion tracking is possible.
More information is available on the project website, http://chrisharrison.net/index.php/Research/Lumitrack.
This work was supported by the
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