Oculus’ most recent platform update, 1.11 was designed to improve tracking performance for experimental room-scale tracking setups with two or more Sensors. For some users however, the update seems to have made things worse. Oculus has now acknowledged the lingering issues and promises that the next two updates will aim to address the problem.

It isn’t clear how many users have been impacted by the lingering room-scale tracking issues in the Oculus 1.11 update, but communities like the Oculus section of Reddit have seen numerous posts since the update with users reporting lingering issues such as a misaligned virtual floor, and occasional jumps in sensor position. Users experience the problem are seeing inconsistent performance in tracking of Touch controllers, causing clear frustration by those who have invested in the relatively pricey VR hardware.

SEE ALSO
Watch Us Test Oculus Touch Front Facing Tracking to its Limits

Brendan Iribe, head of the Rift team at Oculus, recently weighed in on the issues on a post in which reddit user phoenixdigita1 shared what they claimed was a fifth video recorded to show the faulty tracking in action to help Oculus support diagnose the problem. The Reddit user said they are “…totally over this bug that [Oculus] support are making out that they can’t reproduce in the lab.”

Iribe, posting a comment to that post wrote:

Thank you for sharing. We’re working on core software improvements that should hopefully address these issues. This is the top priority for the next two releases, including 1.12 which will ship this month. We’re determined to deliver rock solid robust tracking and appreciate all the feedback.

While it isn’t a particularly substantive comment, the formal acknowledgement of issues users had been reporting since the 1.11 update earlier this month was a breath of fresh air for people sharing the tracking issues, many of whom seemed to be growing increasingly frustrated by Oculus’ silence on the matter.

For early adopters looking for a high-end VR experience, Oculus’ decision to so far leave room-scale Sensor setups in the ‘experimental’ category has irked some. The company has said in the past that their product is “fully capable” of roomscale tracking, but has remained skeptical of its value for mainstream VR users.

Update (2/16/17, 7:32PM PT): Oculus’ Nate Mitchell has taken to the company’s forums to offer more details on the upcoming 1.12 update:

I wanted to give everyone an update on the next release (1.12) and where we are with improvements to Rift tracking.

Our #1 priority right now is addressing the new tracking issues some users are experiencing in 1.11 without reducing the impact of 1.11’s tracking quality improvements. We’re also fixing a few new tracking-related bugs that have come in through community and support channels – thanks to those who have sent in logs. At this point, all of these tracking changes together are too significant for a hotfix, so instead our focus is getting them thoroughly tested and shipped to everyone as part of the 1.12 release ASAP.

As of today, we’re still tracking toward a February release for 1.12, but we don’t have a locked date yet. That’s because 1.12 is going through an expanded QA and testing process to make sure we haven’t overlooked any new issues. As soon as it’s ready, we’ll ship it.

Related, we’re exploring the creation of an early preview program that folks would be able to opt into to receive updates ahead of an official launch. This is something we’ve wanted to do for awhile, but has been on the back-burner behind other features. Hopefully, this should help us gather more community feedback and testing to help catch issues like this in the future. If you’re interested in participating, stay tuned – I’ll have more on this in the next few weeks.

Finally, I wanted to mention that we’re going to be rolling out a small hotfix soon related to Oculus matchmaking services to continue to improve multiplayer experiences. This won’t include any of the upcoming 1.12 tracking updates – this is a much smaller, more focused fix.

Thanks so much for everyone’s patience and support on this. We’ll let you know as soon as we have more.

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  • Mike Handles

    No comments yet??

    I was expecting the regular progression: Rift sucks>Rift is just as good as Vive at roomscale>Vive is better>Vive isn’t as good>Lighthouse is dead>Everyone should just get along

    Insert the occasional troll and there you have it!

    • RipVoid

      The fight is over. Facebook threw in the towel for the Rift.

      • CURTROCK

        Bullshit.

        • Nicholas

          With the CV1, I agree with RipVoid. Facebook are more concerned with mobile and social VR, and the current version of the Rift is never going to truly support roomscale due to hardware limitations. All they can do right now is deflect with software patches and legally vague promises until they release the next hardware iteration.

          • burzum

            I’m sorry for you, but “Roomscale” works just fine for me with three sensors. And I luckily don’t have the problems describes in the article for some reason. And this “roomscale” is pretty much bullshit and a buzzword no matter how you turn it around. The majority of players doesn’t have a dedicated room that is larger than the limits of the tracking system… Most people probably are happy if they have something around 2.5m². A friend who moved to japan even didn’t buy the touch controllers simply because he has not even enough room for playing standing and moving his arms around. And I’m sorry for you again: I’m not an Oculus fanboy and will probably buy another HMD of the 2nd generation, but not because of their hardware or tracking system.

          • Nicholas

            No need to be sorry for me. I have a Vive. And enough space. And roomscale is simply amazing, not a buzzword. And what you really want is no stupid cameras in the tracking, inside-out or otherwise.

          • Get Schwifty!

            His point on the use of the term is some Vive fanboys try to paint a scene where “Roomscale” is somehow exclusive and synonymous to the Vive due to Lighthouse which is just nonsense. It’s an overplayed association that doesn’t match his or the reality of many others.

          • DougP

            Re: “”Roomscale” is somehow exclusive and synonymous to the Vive due to Lighthouse ”

            Technically is IS exclusive to Vive.
            Or has is moved beyond *experimental* ?
            All of the reports or problems would indicate it’s not a practical reality, regardless.

          • Get Schwifty!

            Bullshit. Many people enjoy room scale on the Rift every day, and that’s the point, “experimental” or not. Your statement is exactly what I am referring to. Room scale is NOT limited to the Vive :)

          • RipVoid

            And many people wish they could but can’t. According to your posts, you are one of those people and yet you defend them. You must be one of those types that goes down with the ship.

            Good and consistent room scale that can be developed for is limited to the Vive.

          • burzum

            Well, I have the space as well and a Rift and it just works for me and covers all available space (6x4m² by a guesstimate) very well. Non the less “roomscale” is a bullshit term because it’s not available to the majority of the users. The numbers here are for the whole floor. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/property/10909403/British-homes-are-the-smallest-in-Europe-study-finds.html Also tell me how you define “roomscale”? Does roomscale start at 2.5m², does it start at 10 or at 25? It’s such a vague bullshit marketing speak that is just used to exaggerate a feature that is pretty much constrained by the reality of most people not having a whole empty room (Again, when does “roomscale” starts to count as such?) availabe for VR. PSVR sells well without whatever “roomscale” means to some people. According to this presentation it’s already ~3x2m². http://www.polygon.com/2016/3/17/11254170/playstation-vr-vive-rift-tracking-area I’m sure the laser based tracking of the Vive works better in larger areas but that gets only interesting for companies running VR play halls with really huge spaces. For home users this “roomscale” discussion is just exaggerated and irrelevant as all HMDs can do it right now. My whole point is the limitation of available space and the exaggerated use of “roomscale” in the whole discussion, not which HMD is better – because they all can do it any way.

          • Nicholas

            Roomscale is simply not seated or standing in one spot. Not sure why you think that is a “bullshit” concept, but whatever.

          • burzum

            You still don’t understand what I’m trying to say… Is my text really that hard to comprehend? So by your very own definition “Roomscale is simply not seated or standing in one spot.” you just contradicted your earlier comment of “the current version of the Rift is never going to truly support roomscale due to hardware limitations” which it in fact already does well per your definition. I can walk around my room and it keeps tracking me fine.

          • Nicholas

            It supports it, just not very well or reliably. It might work on YOUR system, but plenty of people have USB and cabling issues. And while you think it tracks fine, I’m willing to bet it won’t track the Touch controllers consistently at all heights and positions in your room.

          • Paulo

            a handful of people complaining on r/oculus !== “plenty of people ” are having issues. My roomscale config worked well before and after the update. I had the floor height glitch once, but resetting the Oculus service (took 3 seconds) fixed it.

            There are issues, but they are vastly overstated.

          • Get Schwifty!

            Sshhhh… don’t tell DougP that room scale works…. he’s under the delusion that it’s exclusive to the Vive.

          • AndyP

            I’ve had Rift roomscale working for ages with three sensors (after solving some USB issues, and messing with the position of sensors). The setup could be improved. I played Res 7 on a friends PSVR the other day – sitting position only, but a great immersive game (after getting past the initial scare!). I’m afraid most people will be perfectly happy with no roomscale and good games/content. It IS the content that Oculus, Rift and the developers really need to sort out and fast (crappy teleportation locomotion games, poor graphics, tedious survival gameplay, early releases with bugs and little content etc). I love VR, I like roomscale, but if they don’t bring me proper content soon…

          • X Lord B

            What planet have you been on the last 6 months? Nicholas lol!
            Roomscale works fine .. sure there are some issues but oculus is working on it.

          • Get Schwifty!

            It’s like talking to people in an alternative dimension…. despite video and personal testimonial, they cannot acknowledge it for some reason…. the Oculus hate goes so deep I think some folks just become plain irrational.

      • DougP

        It’s funny to see all of the Facebook fanboy apologists already jumping in with:
        “What’s important is they’ll get it right with Version TWO!”

        If Facebook’s smart they’ll focus on mobile VR tie-in with their social networking.
        Leave PC gaming VR with the company’s that are motivated by pushing tech & developing games.

  • Myrddin Emrys

    It’s interesting to see how the differing focus between Vive and Rift shows up in the problems they have.

    I think Vive did a superior job with their tracking technology… it scales better, and I think it has a brighter future. But the delay in release for the Rift’s controllers gave them time to incorporate some significant improvements over Valve’s initial design.

    While I’m sad that we don’t have one ‘best in every way’ solution, I’m really looking forward to a decade of Valve/HTC and Oculus/Facebook trying to one-up each other’s design.

    • Rogue Transfer

      Don’t worry, it’s not going to be limited to a two-man race. HTC & Oculus are just early players, though HTC has the market leadership with a likely 2 to 1 ratio.

      We’ve got Microsoft with 6 partners(Dell, Acer, etc.) jumping into the VR market this year.

      We’ve got 500 licensees of Valve’s VR tech, with some of them to release headsets based on Lighthouse tracking. LG perhaps?

      And Lighthouse tracking is getting cheaper & improved(potentially offering double the tracking volume with a significantly increased spread, perhaps to 180°).

      Oculus/Facebook’s controller designs will be learnt from too, by other manufacturers. We’re seeing that already from Valve’s near finalised prototypes.

      Can’t wait to see what other companies produce based on better, open-market tracking like Lighthouse(including viable full body-tracking). The market’s going to be crowded – just like TV/monitor makes.

      • Bradley Lawrence

        You do realize that full body tracking will be much harder using Lighthouse right? Because you would have to have something that sent tracking information from your body to the computer, as opposed to the centralized system of having cameras add something else to track.

        It’s the equivalent of Client side/Server side.

        • Matt R
          • Bradley Lawrence

            Read what I wrote and then watch the video you posted again. It isn’t tracking his body, that’s 2 sets of controller and some software cheats. Granted they did a good job with their software cheats but it still doesn’t actually know where his body is. He said it himself that it’s guessing.

          • X Lord B

            But leds also need to be powered.

          • Bradley Lawrence

            Nobody has actually refuted my point yet. Does that mean I win?

          • Nicholas

            Do you honestly think getting into a motion-capture wetsuit is going to be practical for home VR use?

            And no, sending the tracking information back to the PC is not a hard problem to solve (Vive headsets and controllers already do this….). The real problem is determining the pose of a non-rigid flexible body based on the photodiode timings.

          • Rogue Transfer

            See X Lord B’s post just before your last reply here.

            Both need batteries and further, both need IMU data sent back to cope with small & fast movements.

          • X Lord B

            once development begins with http://www.tomshardware.com/news/kopin-oled-on-silicon-lightning-microdisplay-vr,33671.html

            in mobile vr situations then we should see something awesome.

          • Matt R

            “Software Cheats” = Inverse Kinematics, a well established technique used for skeletal animation in the games and animation industry for decades. In this particular case a plugin for Unreal Engine from a company called Ikinema who specialise in this field for exactly this reason. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Khoer5DpQkE

          • Sam Illingworth

            Wow, that’s impressive!

          • Sponge Bob

            in the motion tracking industry they use passive retro-reflective dots – no leds, no power required

            camera wins hands down – concurrent position registration for all dots in the entire tracking volume unlike lighthouse delayed detection

          • Sam Illingworth

            Doesn’t that mean increasing load on the system translating the input from the cameras, the more stuff you add to track?

        • NooYawker

          Anyone who claims the future superiority of one tech over the other is doing nothing but speculating. The only thing anyone can say is which system right now is better. Adding up all the pros and cons of the two systems as a whole boils down to personal preference. I love my Vive and I’m sure Oculus users love their system as well.

        • Caven

          It depends on what you mean by “harder”. If you’re going by equipment needed, then yes, Lighthouse is harder because more tracking devices are needed. But if you’re talking about the software behind the tracking, camera tracking is harder, because intelligently recognizing the movement of a person is a very difficult programming task.

        • Rogue Transfer

          Current centralised camera systems in VR are reliant on tracking LEDs and IMUs. The cameras used are just not accurate enough to cope with fast movement, without IMU data being sent back. They need more cameras setup to cover the a smaller volume than two Lighthouses and more processing.

          The tracker pucks have inbuilt wireless & come with a USB dongle. They’re going on sale for the Lighthouse system in a couple months.

          Here’s some examples of how it’ll be fairly easy to use – just slip on some pads, like when doing a sport:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNNR_Ab15Bs

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Khoer5DpQkE

          Unfortunately, we’re not at the point where any VR system is planned to give full body tracking otherwise. That makes it a lot harder to do full body tracking with anything other than Lighthouses in the foreseeable future. It may be many years before another alternative reaches consumer level & prices for body tracking.

      • Doctor Bambi

        More companies in VR = a brighter future for the industry, but Microsoft’s headsets will not be in direct competition to either Rift or Vive. Where Rift and Vive are entertainment devices first, Microsoft’s headsets will focus on business utility and practicality first and appeal to a different sector of the market.

        Any headset that comes out utilizing OpenVR and Lighthouse will be constrained by the technical limitations of whoever happens to be the golden child on Steam in order to avoid potential compatibility/comfort issues. That largely means, any headset that comes out using Lighthouse will be a variation of the Vive experience. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as it could allow more budget friendly/high end options to emerge, but by and large means the impactful innovations will be spear headed by the Vive and it will be the best/most supported way to enjoy VR on Steam for the short to mid term. Kind of like how Pixel is the flagship Android device.

        • Rogue Transfer

          Due to their price & higher-res and use with an Xbox controller they will compete directly with the base Rift without Touch and gaming will be one of the main uses for consumers wanting a cheap, high spec VR system.

          Lenovo showed off their Vorpx-like gaming hub software planned for their version of Microsoft’s headsets at CES recently(using an HTC Vive headset as surrogate and Xbox joypad).

          So, it does seem like some of the partners are focusing on gaming. Though, it does seem less likely they’ll offer as much competition to roomscale motion tracked controllers of the Vive & Rift+Touch.

    • Fredrik Sjöborg

      I honestly do not understand why so many prefer the rift controllers, they were not great when I tried them. The Vive wands were much more comfortable.

      • NooYawker

        More compact. compact is always good. I never tried the rift controllers they just look cooler. I’m perfectly happy with the Vive wants however.

      • Get Schwifty!

        I think you are in that 0.05% that the design just doesn’t feel right, maybe your hands are large or shaped a bit differently than the average. AFAIK, not a single industry pundit thinks the wands are anything more than a temporary design and while they work, they just not all the ergonomic.. The eventual new Vive controllers might not work for you either it sounds like.

      • DougP

        You’re not a alone.
        For a lot of us the rift (split xbox controller) design doesn’t fit well.
        It seems they have a narrow set of hand/finger sizes that are comfortable vs the Vive’s “any size” wands.

        Also, they thumbpads are an old design & not intuitive for non-console gamers.
        I think that Facebook’s push with these controllers was for the more casual gamers – like mobile with GearVR & console converts with the xbox controller bundled & split xbox controller Touch.

      • Pre Seznik

        After 3 decades of using gamepads I can safely say the Rift controllers are vastly superior as far as ergnomics go. I’m sure there’s outlying users who had a different experience, but that can’t be helped.

    • Doctor Bambi

      Yep totally agree, I hope the two companies can continue to leap frog each other and innovate in their own ways. Consumers will win in the long run if that is the case.

  • Get Schwifty!

    I’ll comment, teaching a class this week so I am getting in late and just saw this.

    Some people are having problems, not all. Naturally, people with problems will post, but what is to me under emphasized in the article is that quite a few people have significantly better tracking after the last update, while some people (like me) have worse tracking. All the focus is on those with issues, but as usual ignores those who have good experiences. I feel fairly certain Oculus will work out the software issues up to the limit of the solution as it exists now.

    The reality is Oculus under Facebook is learning and will likely change the solution over time. Those moronic enough to say things like “Oculus is dead” and “Facebook threw in the towel” are seriously kidding themselves. You have a company which just went through a lawsuit, has had some key personnel changes over the past quarter, and sees the VR business as something that will take decades. And this is perhaps their greatest strength and weakness. HTC needs desperately to make VR work as their phone business is kind of not happening these days. They have a good solution and are focused on improving it because in many ways the company future rides on it, while FB/Oculus has effectively money and more importantly time to burn while slowly they find their way.

    Oculus I don’t believe has the focus because their circumstance is very different from HTC’s currently, and they don’t “feel the heat” of the market the way HTC does and as a result we have silly decisions like delaying the release of Touch, slow responses to support concerns and just a an overall sense that this whole PC-based VR thing is really more about content than technical quality. If Oculus “loses the market”, it won’t be due to quitting, but not realizing that each day their competition goes to market swinging each morning early, while they show up at 9:30 each day and leisurely tending the business.

    Oculus needs more than anything to start acting like a company that is serious about
    competing in the market and winning customers, and not acting like room scale stability is some strange request from the cheap seats, which is how they are currently acting; just having money and time does not ensure you will remain a market leader.

    • Sam Illingworth

      To be fair, Oculus have some technical advantages – ergonomics and (I’m told) visual sharpness.

      • X Lord B

        I agree sam. The visuals in oculus when set up properly are amazing. Ergonomics equally satisfying. And the touch controllers are brilliant once you get used to them (which does not take that long). The only miniscule downside to ANY vr headset right now imo is the FOV, Namely the divers helmet effect. I wish the headsets came with out that dark circle around the viewspace.. I understand that its not much of a problem but it would be really nice (like a breath of fresh air) to not be able to see that dang border.

        • NooYawker

          I’m ok with the FOV right now.. today. But I’d expect the next gen to have a larger FOV but for me it’s the screen door effect that bugs me.

      • Get Schwifty!

        Oh I a agree with the technical advantages… its the reason I chose Oculus first. My increasing issue is the attitude that Oculus is taking lately and what appears to be a sort of genteel attitude that they don’t really have to seriously compete, I think this is the wrong attitude and going to get them into trouble. The fact there is a 2:1 ratio currently in favor of Vive doesn’t seem to bother them, and that is disturbing…

        And i assure you mine is set up correctly :)

    • NooYawker

      What kind of pc do you have? It’s possible all those sensors going through the USB just needs too much processing for some computers. Just a shot in the dark.

      • Get Schwifty!

        Meh – mine is a bit underspec which is why I am not making too much noise about it currently. I’ll be upgrading in a few months to an officially rated system so I am expecting things to even back out then.

        My comments about Oculus are more than my own situation though, they just seem to be lackadaisical currently which is irritating given their backing.

  • nargorn

    When it works: great! But every time i start my PC, i don’t know what happens. The configuration in the device manager sometimes shows 2 sensors, 3 or 4. Sometimes 4 work well, sometimes you better of with 3. It is a lottery! Just a very experimental hardware,as they say, not a consumer version….:-(

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Maybe you have it connected to an USB 3 port and are using an older intel chipset which is known to have problems with multiple USB devices.

      • Get Schwifty!

        I suspect this has a lot to do with it… for me with a just behind the spec system I ran fine with the previous software update with just a few glitches… now its effectively unusable.

        • Joe Dert

          Make sure you don’t have any high demand device on your USB like web cam or in my case I had plugged my older external SB 1095 Sound card back in to my system which essentially overloaded my USB data or cut too much power thus tanking my four sensor tracking. Once I realized that was the new variable I needed to remove I was back with pretty much flawless 360 room-scale again. Granted I have a start my VR ritual of steps that work every time now; Tray Tool as administrator get Yellow light, Run Powershell script as adminitrator, Close and re-open Tray Tool which needs and then starts with the Green light and then launch Oculus Home. I check my Touch hands are at full animation speed and tracking and then launch Steam as Administrator and start Steam VR.

  • Yes, I’ve seen his comment directly on reddit. He has been awesome in answering in first person…

  • Sponge Bob

    In the long run camera wins

    lighthouse is dead for general use

    • bschuler

      Yes.. and flying cars beat ground transportation. We are all just waiting for it to happen… someday… one day… eventually.. maybe in our lifetime?

      • Sponge Bob

        http://www.phasespace.com/index.html

        dozens of companies doing high-speed motion tracking (no IMUs there)

        1000fps and several 1000s pixels in each direction

        BUT… cameras like that are $$$

        flying cars ??? wtf ?

        • NooYawker

          And how does the inferior camera sensors help you today? When I buy the next gen VR set I’ll get the ones that are best at that time, be it camera or lasers. I won’t buy one thinking.. this will be better in 3rd gen. Or even worse, I’m a light house or camera fanboy so I’ll stick to this no matter what.

    • NooYawker

      Ok Nostrodamus.

    • Konchu

      I personally don’t see the pure “Camera” as the best solution its still cumbersome. Even lighthouse fits this description being only slightly better for setup ease for roomscale. You have to really permanently mount for best setup and you are going to have do deal with either power cables or USB cables going all over the place. Someone is going to make an awesome solution that dominates them all. Inside out could be that. Or perhaps someone uses some other tech like RF for accurate tracking and less fuss aka calibration/cables/etc.

      • Sponge Bob

        RF and IR are both EM – ToF measurement is expensive and not very precise
        usb cables are used only to reduce latency compared to wireless (BT)
        power is power – can’t live without it
        camera has one huge advantage though- concurrent registration of all markers (Leds) whereas laser projecting rotor can only spin so fast without being torn apart
        the conclusion is clear

        • Konchu

          Definitely not arguing they both need power just for room scale at least the both require more effort and make them more enthusiast grade. I could see using inside out on the headset and controllers for a simple no fuss vr experience that just works.

          Now as far as the motor rotation I think at this point its fast enough. It essential projects a grid (sweeping waves of light)nothing more nothing less. Sensors on the headset/wands read the angles/timing they get from this projection and using the multiple angle/timing readings and the magic of math they get a really fast low latency location in space with a very low overhead. I believe the only real communication on the base stations themselves is to keep sync up the timing.

          http://gizmodo.com/this-is-how-valve-s-amazing-lighthouse-tracking-technol-1705356768

          This is the much less intense than a Cameras as it has process multiple camera visual signals and figures angles using a visually representation aka what is the distance of the leds from each other (distance) is one dimmer than another(aka close to the camera etc (angle)) etc. I also believe the LED’s pulse in a pattern so they they can identified by the camera. Oculus does an amazing job with this. But I think other technologies will overshadow it.

    • JustNiz

      Utter fanboi baloney. I’ve been doing roomscale in a 20+ft per side square area since I got my vive maybe June last year and I dont have multiple USB cables running round the room. Can your oculus do that even with 3 cameras? No thought not.

  • Pre Seznik

    I’ve had some trouble with headset tracking recently, even in simple sit down games like racing sims (I’m using two sensors). I’m kinda glad to hear it’s a known issue now.