Impression Pi Boasts Control Through Computer Vision

uSens has launched a Kickstarter campaign for an interactive, mobile VR headset called Impression Pi (appropriately launched on Pi Day). The company says that development on hardware is nearly completed.

The Kickstarter campaign is intended to help uSens with final production and to introduce early adopters to the product. The campaign also offers early access to the software development kit (SDK) and the company’s Pi Development Program.

According to the information currently available, the Impression Pi is a headset that uses a smartphone as the display (‘Like a more fashionable [Google] Cardboard’, says uSens). Compatible phones include the Moto X (2014); Nexus 5 and 6; Galaxy Note 4; iPhone 6 and 6 Plus; HTC Desire Eye and One M8; Xperia Z3; Xiaomi M4; LG’s G3′ and the OnePlus One.

There are four versions of the product:

Starter: just the headset.

Empower: also supplied with a processor board to improve the VR experience. Also enables extra features, such as 3D gesture control.

Core: a ‘DIY’ set for integration with other devices, such as drones. Includes a camera sensing module and computer vision algorithms to enable the extra features from the Empower model.

Master: an all-in-one integrated headset with a built-in display and processing system.

The feature list is extensive. The Impression Pi’s processor board uses an IR projector and imagers to sense hand movements. Computer vision algorithms process the image of a user’s hands generate 3D gesture modelling. Position tracking is another feature, although the company did not say how it is enabled.

The dual camera module captures and displays real-world objects to the user on-screen, overlaying VR image on top – creating a form of augmented reality. The headset also features collision detection, to warn users if they are too close to an object in the real world.

Finally, the Impression Pi is capable of head tracking.

The team behind the Kickstarter project has manufacturing partners that made made ‘numerous products that are already in your pockets’.

So far, Starter packs are being sent to those pledging $60 (early discount) – $80; the Core package is being sent to those pledging $200; Empower to those pledging $250 (early discount) – $280; and the Master pack to those pleding $360. Estimated delivery is September – December this year.