Press Releases

OptiTrack Showcases Wide Area, Interactive VR Basketball Experience at GDC 2016

Low Latency, High Precision Motion Capture System Enables Large Scale, Multi-Player VR Games, with Real-Time Rigid Body Tracking into Unreal Engine

Robot holding a basketball as seen from an HMD

San Francisco, CA, GDC, Booth 2116 (March 14, 2016) – At GDC 2016 this week at San Francisco’s Moscone Center, OptiTrack will demonstrate its latest technology advancements for virtual reality (VR) workflows via an interactive basketball experience. Participants donning head-mounted displays (HMDs) will be able to dribble and pass a basketball simultaneously in the VR environment and in the physical world. An OptiTrack 6 DoF tracking system will provide drift-free positional and rotational tracking for the HMDs, controllers, and players.

With the ability to track more than 75 rigid bodies simultaneously with <5ms tracking latency and a wide-angle camera view, the OptiTrack system supports a large number of HMDs and in-game objects in a single space, opening the door for a more immersive and complex VR experience that merges real-world objects with virtual environments. The company is also showcasing real-time full-body animation from the OptiTrack system into Unreal Engine 4®, with retargeting in IKinema.

“What’s already been accomplished in the VR space from a technology standpoint is incredible, but very few VR experiences offer interactivity and the freedom to walk around a very large room. Our systems enable developers to create high quality large-scale experiences and essentially turn any physical object into a motion controller or dynamic in-game element. As our VR customers have recently been pointing out to us daily, the potential applications are endless,” said Brian Nilles, Chief Strategy Officer, OptiTrack.

Passing a basketball with hmd

Key Features

  • Scalable: Precise wide-angle cameras and support for high camera counts allow for over 10,000 square feet of HMD tracking.
  • Flexible: Multiple HMDs can be tracked simultaneously, and any object can easily be made interactive within the scene. Support for Oculus Rift is built-in, with Samsung GearVR compatibility coming soon. OptiTrack’s open framework enables easy support for new devices.
  • Accurate: Positional accuracy of +/- 0.10 mm and yaw drift correction in Unreal enables artifact- and distraction-free VR experiences with imperceptible latency.
  • Real-Time HMD Integration into Game Engines: In addition to OptiTrack’s existing pipelines through trackd, VRPN and Autodesk MotionBuilder®, a new plug-in provides real-time tracking of HMDs, rigid bodies and full-body animation. Skeletal data from the OptiTrack system is retargeted in IKinema and piped into the Unreal Engine. A similar integration for Unity® with retargeting in Mecanim is coming soon.
View of skeleton holding a basketball

To see OptiTrack’s VR workflow in action, stop by GDC booth #2116. The setup includes 24 Prime 17W cameras and Motive software, IKinema LiveAction, Unreal Engine 4 and Oculus Rift VR HMDs. For more information on OptiTrack technology for VR workflows, visit:

Notable VR, Robotics, Biomechanics, and Animation customers include:

VR customers: The Void, VRstudios, Ford Motor Company, Atomic VR, USC’s 5D Lab, Framestore, and Mechdyne.
Robotics and Drones: ETH, Intel, EPFL, NIST, Aldebaran Sensefly, Lily, MIT, CMU, and ARS Electronica. Engineering: Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Mitsubishi, Dassault Systems, and Laser Shot. Live theatre events: Blacktrax, and VYV. Biomech and sports customers: The Ohio State University, Nike, The Mayo Clinic, Toronto Rehab, Cobra Golf, DX Sports Labs, The Performance Lab, Harvard Medical School, Under Armour, Stanford University, and Duke University. Entertainment customers include: Activision, 343 Industries, Cloud Imperium, Capcom, Disney, TV Globo, NetherRealm, WB Games, Ubisoft, Rockstar Games, Suckerpunch, Crytek, Remedy Games, The Third Floor, DICE, Eidos, The Moving Picture Company, Animatrik Film Design, and other top studios and developers around the world.