News Post

NaturalPoint’s 6 DOF Head Tracker Offers
Superior Resolution and Image Processing

CORVALLIS — May 7, 2009 — Signifying a technical leap forward in optical head tracking, today NaturalPoint unwrapped its fifth generation of TrackIR, ending weeks of speculation that a new unit was in development. The highly-anticipated TrackIR 5 succeeds TrackIR 4, the highest-selling head tracker in the world. Highlights of the new design include an upgraded camera sensor with grayscale processing, a 10-fold increase in effective resolution, and a 12% increase in field of view.

TrackIR is most popular with FPS, flight, and racing PC gamers. It enables control of the in-game view with the user’s actual head movements through all 6 degrees of freedom (6 DOF) by measuring head position and orientation with a 120 fps infrared camera. Traditional aiming is still controlled by a mouse, keyboard or joystick, with TrackIR replacing the free-look view control traditionally mapped to a key, button, or a joystick hat switch. Leading developers have embraced the technology, with over 100 TrackIR Enhanced™ games to date.

“Top game devs are continually looking for ways to redefine gaming paradigms. Photorealistic graphics are great, but where do you go from there? True immersion takes you beyond visual titillation,” said Jim Richardson, president of NaturalPoint. “TrackIR is the simplest and most powerful tool for game developers to transform their title into a deeply interactive experience.”

While a major selling point for TrackIR 4 was “vector out of the box”—referring to its new native support for 6 DOF tracking—TrackIR 5 brings a series of widespread enhancements to the existing technology. “As much as TrackIR 3 and 4 achieved in democratizing a technology previously reserved for militaries and research institutions, TrackIR 5 is a significant technological step forward,” said Richardson. “I’m excited to see head tracking taken to a new level of performance.”

“Increasing the hardware’s raw power—namely resolution and field of view—was an obvious direction for us to take the product, but we wanted to go further than that. Our Precision Grayscale introduces a whole new type of image processing, and it’s the primary reason for the increased accuracy. The results are impressive, with effective resolution increasing by 10 fold” said Richardson. “Trackable distance and real estate is increased. In game motion is exceptionally stable. Essentially, TrackIR 5 can move at the speed of your reflexes, which makes the whole process more intuitive and less obtrusive. It delivers higher fidelity than we’ve ever been able to offer.”

“I can’t wait for users to get their hands on TrackIR 5. It’s seriously badass. They’re going to love it.”

With a rapidly growing and enthusiastic user base, over 100 supported titles, and a product in its 5th generation, TrackIR has a long history of supporting pioneering gaming titles. It is the highest-selling head tracker in the world and represents the industry standard for optical motion tracking for PC gaming.

Based in Corvallis, Oregon, NaturalPoint designs and manufactures the OptiTrack™, TrackIR™, and SmartNav™ product lines. NaturalPoint specializes in providing innovative control solutions through optical tracking technology, and has developed tracking systems for premium optical motion capture and tracking, 6DOF motion-tracking gaming inputs, and a hands-free ergonomic mouse alternative.

Member Comments
# 1 Cpre5 @ 07/03/13 09:56 PM
I grabbed my 1st TrackIR couple days ago and have been having fun playing around with it, no idea why I wait so long. But with a little user error I broke my Pro clip and I email NP about it, within 20 mins my new replacement was shipped no questions asked.

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