Virtual Reality

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 155–168 | Cite as

Real-time body tracking in virtual reality using a Vive tracker

  • Polona CasermanEmail author
  • Augusto Garcia-Agundez
  • Robert Konrad
  • Stefan Göbel
  • Ralf Steinmetz
Original Article


Due to recent improvements in virtual reality (VR) technology, the number of novel applications for entertainment, education, and rehabilitation has increased. The primary goal of these applications is to enhance the sense of belief that the user is “present” in the virtual environment. By tracking the user’s skeleton in real-time, it is possible to synchronize the avatar’s motions with the user’s motions. Although current common devices implement body tracking to a certain degree, most approaches are limited by either high latency or insufficient accuracy. Due to the lack of positional and rotation data, the current VR applications typically do not represent the user’s motions. In this paper, we present an accurate, low-latency body tracking approach for VR-based applications using Vive Trackers. Using a HTC Vive headset and Vive Trackers, we have been able to create an immersive VR experience, by animating the motions of the avatar as smoothly, rapidly and as accurately as possible. An evaluation showed our solution is capable of tracking both joint rotation and position with reasonable accuracy and a very low end-to-latency of \(6.71 \pm 0.80\hbox { ms}\). Due to this merely imperceptible delay and precise tracking, our solution can show the movements of the user in real-time in order to create deeper immersion.


Virtual reality Real-time tracking Full-body avatar Low-latency HTC Vive tracker Inverse kinematics 


Supplementary material

Supplementary material 1 (mp4 31171 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Multimedia Communications LabTechnische Universität DarmstadtDarmstadtGermany

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