Magic Leap Patent | Calibration Of Magnetic And Optical Sensors In A Virtual Reality Or Augmented Reality Display System

Patent: Calibration Of Magnetic And Optical Sensors In A Virtual Reality Or Augmented Reality Display System

Publication Number: 20200096575

Publication Date: 20200326

Applicants: Magic Leap

Abstract

A system for calibrating alignment of two or more sensors in a virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) display device, the two or more sensors in the display device including at least one magnetic sensor. The system can include a first pair of conductive loops oriented in parallel planes and spaced apart along a first axis. The system can also include a mount configured to attach to the display device and to support the display device in a first predetermined spatial relationship with respect to the first pair of conductive loops.

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 15/714,905, filed Sep. 25, 2017, and entitled “CALIBRATION OF MAGNETIC AND OPTICAL SENSORS IN A VIRTUAL REALITY OR AUGMENTED REALITY DISPLAY SYSTEM,” which claims the benefit of priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 62/400,079, filed Sep. 26, 2016, and entitled “SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR AUGMENTED REALITY,” each of which is hereby incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

BACKGROUND

Field

[0002] Modern computing and display technologies have facilitated the development of virtual reality (“VR”), augmented reality (“AR”), and mixed reality (“MR”) systems. A VR system creates a simulated environment for a user to experience. This can be done by presenting computer-generated imagery to the user through a head-mounted display. This imagery creates a sensory experience which immerses the user in the simulated environment. A VR scenario typically involves presentation of only computer-generated imagery rather than also including actual real-world imagery.

[0003] An AR system generally supplements a real-world environment with simulated elements. For example, an AR system may provide a user with a view of the surrounding real-world environment via a head-mounted display. However, computer-generated imagery can also be presented on the display to enhance the real-world environment. This computer-generated imagery can include elements which are contextually-related to the real-world environment. Such elements can include simulated text, images, objects, etc. An MR system is a type of AR system which also introduces simulated objects into a real-world environment, but these objects typically feature a greater degree of interactivity. The simulated elements can often times be interactive in real time.

SUMMARY

[0004] A system is disclosed for calibrating alignment of two or more sensors in a virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) display device, the two or more sensors in the display device including at least one magnetic sensor. In some embodiments, the system comprises: one or more pairs of conductive loops comprising a first pair of conductive loops oriented in parallel planes and spaced apart along a first axis; and a mount configured to attach to the display device and to support the display device in a first predetermined spatial relationship with respect to the one or more pairs of conductive loops.

[0005] Details of one or more embodiments of the subject matter described in this specification are set forth in the accompanying drawings and in the description below. Other features, aspects, and advantages will become apparent from the description, the drawings, and the claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0006] FIG. 1 depicts an illustration of an augmented reality scenario with certain virtual reality objects, and certain physical objects viewed by a person.

[0007] FIGS. 2A-2D schematically illustrate examples of a wearable system.

[0008] FIG. 3 schematically illustrates coordination between cloud computing assets and local processing assets.

[0009] FIG. 4 schematically illustrates an example system diagram of an electromagnetic (EM) tracking system.

[0010] FIG. 5 is a flowchart describing example functioning of an embodiment of an electromagnetic tracking system.

[0011] FIG. 6 schematically illustrates an example of an electromagnetic tracking system incorporated with an AR system.

[0012] FIG. 7 is a flowchart describing functioning of an example of an electromagnetic tracking system in the context of an AR device.

[0013] FIG. 8 schematically illustrates examples of components of an embodiment of an AR system.

[0014] FIG. 9 is a block diagram of a system for calibrating the alignment of magnetometers in a head mounted wearable AR/VR system.

[0015] FIG. 10A illustrates a first example embodiment of the magnetic field generating unit shown in FIG. 9.

[0016] FIG. 10B is a cross-sectional schematic illustration of the magnetic field lines produced by the conductive loop configuration shown in FIG. 10A.

[0017] FIG. 10C illustrates an example multi-axis embodiment of the magnetic field generating unit shown in FIG. 9.

[0018] FIG. 11 is a schematic illustration of the head mounted wearable AR/VR system positioned in the test volume of a uniform magnetic field produced by the first conductive loop and the second conductive loop.

[0019] FIG. 12 is a flow chart of an example method for calibrating the alignment of two different types of magnetometers in a wearable AR/VR system.

[0020] FIG. 13 is a block diagram of a system for calibrating the alignment of magnetometers and optical sensors in a head mounted wearable AR/VR system.

[0021] FIG. 14 is a schematic illustration of the head mounted wearable AR/VR system positioned in an example embodiment of the magnetic field generating unit with optical fiducial markers.

[0022] FIG. 15 is a flow chart of an example method for calibrating the alignment of magnetic sensors and optical sensors in a wearable AR/VR system.

[0023] Throughout the drawings, reference numbers may be re-used to indicate correspondence between referenced elements. The drawings are provided to illustrate example embodiments described herein and are not intended to limit the scope of the disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Overview of AR,* VR and Localization Systems*

[0024] In FIG. 1, an augmented reality scene (4) is depicted where a user of an AR technology sees a real-world park-like setting (6) featuring people, trees, buildings in the background, and a concrete platform (1120). In addition to these items, the user of the AR technology also perceives that he “sees” a robot statue (1110) standing upon the real-world platform (1120), and a cartoon-like avatar character (2) flying by which seems to be a personification of a bumble bee, even though these elements (2, 1110) do not exist in the real world. The human visual perception system is very complex, and producing a VR or AR technology that facilitates a comfortable, natural-feeling, rich presentation of virtual image elements amongst other virtual or real-world imagery elements is challenging.

[0025] Head-worn VR or AR displays (or helmet-mounted displays, or smart glasses) typically are at least loosely coupled to a user’s head, and thus move when the user’s head moves. If the user’s head motions are detected by the display system, the data being displayed can be updated to take the change in head pose into account. As an example, if a user wearing a head-worn display views a virtual representation of a three-dimensional (3D) object on the display and walks around the area where the 3D object appears, that 3D object can be re-rendered for each viewpoint, giving the user the perception that he or she is walking around an object that occupies real space. If the head-worn display is used to present multiple objects within a virtual space (for instance, a rich virtual world), measurements of head pose (e.g., the location and orientation of the user’s head) can be used to re-render the scene to match the user’s dynamically changing head location and orientation and provide an increased sense of immersion in the virtual space.

[0026] In AR systems, detection or calculation of head pose can permit the display system to render virtual objects such that they appear to occupy a space in the real world in a manner that makes sense to the user. In addition, detection of the position and/or orientation of a real object, such as handheld device (which also may be referred to as a “totem”), haptic device, or other real physical object, in relation to the user’s head or AR system may also facilitate the display system in presenting display information to the user to enable the user to interact with certain aspects of the AR system efficiently. As the user’s head moves around in the real world, the virtual objects may be re-rendered as a function of head pose, such that the virtual objects appear to remain stable relative to the real world. At least for AR applications, placement of virtual objects in spatial relation to physical objects (e.g., presented to appear spatially proximate a physical object in two- or three-dimensions) may be a non-trivial problem. For example, head movement may significantly complicate placement of virtual objects in a view of an ambient environment. Such is true whether the view is captured as an image of the ambient environment and then projected or displayed to the end user, or whether the end user perceives the view of the ambient environment directly. For instance, head movement will likely cause a field of view of the end user to change, which will likely require an update to where various virtual objects are displayed in the field of the view of the end user. Additionally, head movements may occur within a large variety of ranges and speeds. Head movement speed may vary not only between different head movements, but within or across the range of a single head movement. For instance, head movement speed may initially increase (e.g., linearly or not) from a starting point, and may decrease as an ending point is reached, obtaining a maximum speed somewhere between the starting and ending points of the head movement. Rapid head movements may even exceed the ability of the particular display or projection technology to render images that appear uniform and/or as smooth motion to the end user.

[0027] Head tracking accuracy and latency (e.g., the elapsed time between when the user moves his or her head and the time when the image gets updated and displayed to the user) have been challenges for VR and AR systems. Especially for display systems that fill a substantial portion of the user’s visual field with virtual elements, it is advantageous if the accuracy of head-tracking is high and that the overall system latency is very low from the first detection of head motion to the updating of the light that is delivered by the display to the user’s eyes. If the latency is high, the system can create a mismatch between the user’s vestibular and visual sensory systems, and generate a user perception scenario that can lead to motion sickness or simulator sickness. If the system latency is high, the apparent location of virtual objects will appear unstable during rapid head motions.

[0028] In addition to head-worn display systems, other display systems can benefit from accurate and low latency head pose detection. These include head-tracked display systems in which the display is not worn on the user’s body, but is, e.g., mounted on a wall or other surface. The head-tracked display acts like a window onto a scene, and as a user moves his head relative to the “window” the scene is re-rendered to match the user’s changing viewpoint. Other systems include a head-worn projection system, in which a head-worn display projects light onto the real world.

[0029] Additionally, in order to provide a realistic augmented reality experience, AR systems may be designed to be interactive with the user. For example, multiple users may play a ball game with a virtual ball and/or other virtual objects. One user may “catch” the virtual ball, and throw the ball back to another user. In another embodiment, a first user may be provided with a totem (e.g., a bat-like object communicatively coupled to the AR system) to hit the virtual ball. In other embodiments, a virtual user interface may be presented to the AR user to allow the user to select one of many options. The user may use totems, haptic devices, wearable components, or simply touch the virtual screen to interact with the system.

[0030] Detecting head pose and orientation of the user, and detecting a physical location of real objects in space enable the AR system to display virtual content in an effective and enjoyable manner. However, although these capabilities are advantageous to an AR system, they may be difficult to achieve. In other words, the AR system can recognize a physical location of a real object (e.g., user’s head, totem, haptic device, wearable component, user’s hand, etc.) and correlate the physical coordinates of the real object to virtual coordinates corresponding to one or more virtual objects being displayed to the user. This generally requires highly accurate sensors and sensor recognition systems that track a position and orientation of one or more objects at rapid rates. Current approaches may not perform localization at satisfactory speed or precision standards. Thus, there is a need for a better localization system in the context of AR and VR devices.

Example AR and VR Systems and Components

[0031] With reference to FIGS. 2A-2D, some general componentry options are illustrated. In the portions of the detailed description which follow the discussion of FIGS. 2A-2D, various systems, subsystems, and components are presented for addressing the objectives of providing a high-quality, comfortably-perceived display system for human VR and/or AR.

[0032] As shown in FIG. 2A, an AR system user (60) is depicted wearing head mounted component (58) featuring a frame (64) structure coupled to a display system (62) positioned in front of the eyes of the user. A speaker (66) is coupled to the frame (64) in the depicted configuration and positioned adjacent the ear canal of the user (in one embodiment, another speaker, not shown, is positioned adjacent the other ear canal of the user to provide for stereo/shapeable sound control). The display (62) is operatively coupled (68), such as by a wired lead or wireless connectivity, to a local processing and data module (70) which may be mounted in a variety of configurations, such as fixedly attached to the frame (64), fixedly attached to a helmet or hat (80) as shown in the embodiment of FIG. 2B, embedded in headphones, removably attached to the torso (82) of the user (60) in a backpack-style configuration as shown in the embodiment of FIG. 2C, or removably attached to the hip (84) of the user (60) in a belt-coupling style configuration as shown in the embodiment of FIG. 2D.

[0033] The local processing and data module (70) may comprise a power-efficient processor or controller, as well as digital memory, such as flash memory, both of which may be utilized to assist in the processing, caching, and storage of data a) captured from sensors which may be operatively coupled to the frame (64), such as image capture devices (such as cameras), microphones, inertial measurement units, accelerometers, compasses, GPS units, radio devices, and/or gyros; and/or b) acquired and/or processed using the remote processing module (72) and/or remote data repository (74), possibly for passage to the display (62) after such processing or retrieval. The local processing and data module (70) may be operatively coupled (76, 78), such as via a wired or wireless communication links, to the remote processing module (72) and remote data repository (74) such that these remote modules (72, 74) are operatively coupled to each other and available as resources to the local processing and data module (70).

[0034] In one embodiment, the remote processing module (72) may comprise one or more relatively powerful processors or controllers configured to analyze and process data and/or image information. In one embodiment, the remote data repository (74) may comprise a relatively large-scale digital data storage facility, which may be available through the internet or other networking configuration in a “cloud” resource configuration. In one embodiment, all data is stored and all computation is performed in the local processing and data module, allowing fully autonomous use from any remote modules.

[0035] With reference now to FIG. 3, a schematic illustrates coordination between the cloud computing assets (46) and local processing assets, which may, for example reside in head mounted componentry (58) coupled to the user’s head (120) and a local processing and data module (70), coupled to the user’s belt (308; therefore the component 70 may also be termed a “belt pack” 70), as shown in FIG. 3. In one embodiment, the cloud (46) assets, such as one or more server systems (110) are operatively coupled (115), such as via wired or wireless networking (wireless being preferred for mobility, wired being preferred for certain high-bandwidth or high-data-volume transfers that may be desired), directly to (40, 42) one or both of the local computing assets, such as processor and memory configurations, coupled to the user’s head (120) and belt (308) as described above. These computing assets local to the user may be operatively coupled to each other as well, via wired and/or wireless connectivity configurations (44), such as the wired coupling (68) discussed below in reference to FIG. 8. In one embodiment, to maintain a low-inertia and small-size subsystem mounted to the user’s head (120), primary transfer between the user and the cloud (46) may be via the link between the subsystem mounted at the belt (308) and the cloud, with the head mounted (120) subsystem primarily data-tethered to the belt-based (308) subsystem using wireless connectivity, such as ultra-wideband (“UWB”) connectivity, as is currently employed, for example, in personal computing peripheral connectivity applications.

[0036] With efficient local and remote processing coordination, and an appropriate display device for a user, such as the user interface or user display system (62) shown in FIG. 2A, or variations thereof, aspects of one world pertinent to a user’s current actual or virtual location may be transferred or “passed” to the user and updated in an efficient fashion. In other words, a map of the world may be continually updated at a storage location which may partially reside on the user’s AR system and partially reside in the cloud resources. The map (also referred to as a “passable world model”) may be a large database comprising raster imagery, 3-D and 2-D points, parametric information and other information about the real world. As more and more AR users continually capture information about their real environment (e.g., through cameras, sensors, IMUs, etc.), the map becomes more and more accurate and complete.

[0037] With a configuration as described above, wherein there is one world model that can reside on cloud computing resources and be distributed from there, such world can be “passable” to one or more users in a relatively low bandwidth form preferable to trying to pass around real-time video data or the like. The augmented experience of the person standing near the statue (e.g., as shown in FIG. 1) may be informed by the cloud-based world model, a subset of which may be passed down to them and their local display device to complete the view. A person sitting at a remote display device, which may be as simple as a personal computer sitting on a desk, can efficiently download that same section of information from the cloud and have it rendered on their display. Indeed, one person actually present in the park near the statue may take a remotely-located friend for a walk in that park, with the friend joining through virtual and augmented reality. The system will need to know where the street is, wherein the trees are, where the statue is–but with that information on the cloud, the joining friend can download from the cloud aspects of the scenario, and then start walking along as an augmented reality local relative to the person who is actually in the park.

[0038] Three-dimensional (3-D) points may be captured from the environment, and the pose (e.g., vector and/or origin position information relative to the world) of the cameras that capture those images or points may be determined, so that these points or images may be “tagged”, or associated, with this pose information. Then points captured by a second camera may be utilized to determine the pose of the second camera. In other words, one can orient and/or localize a second camera based upon comparisons with tagged images from a first camera. Then this knowledge may be utilized to extract textures, make maps, and create a virtual copy of the real world (because then there are two cameras around that are registered).

[0039] So at the base level, in one embodiment a person-worn system can be utilized to capture both 3-D points and the 2-D images that produced the points, and these points and images may be sent out to a cloud storage and processing resource. They may also be cached locally with embedded pose information (e.g., cache the tagged images); so the cloud may have on the ready (e.g., in available cache) tagged 2-D images (e.g., tagged with a 3-D pose), along with 3-D points. If a user is observing something dynamic, he may also send additional information up to the cloud pertinent to the motion (for example, if looking at another person’s face, the user can take a texture map of the face and push that up at an optimized frequency even though the surrounding world is otherwise basically static). More information on object recognizers and the passable world model may be found in U.S. Patent Pub. No. 2014/0306866, entitled “System and method for augmented and virtual reality”, which is incorporated by reference in its entirety herein, along with the following additional disclosures, which related to augmented and virtual reality systems such as those developed by Magic Leap, Inc. of Plantation, Florida: U.S. Patent Pub. No. 2015/0178939; U.S. Patent Pub. No. 2015/0205126; U.S. Patent Pub. No. 2014/0267420; U.S. Patent Pub. No. 2015/0302652; U.S. Patent Pub. No. 2013/0117377; and U.S. Patent Pub. No. 2013/0128230, each of which is hereby incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

[0040] GPS and other localization information may be utilized as inputs to such processing. Highly accurate localization of the user’s head, totems, hand gestures, haptic devices etc. may be advantageous in order to display appropriate virtual content to the user.

[0041] The head-mounted device (58) may include displays positionable in front of the eyes of the wearer of the device. The displays may comprise light field displays. The displays may be configured to present images to the wearer at a plurality of depth planes. The displays may comprise planar waveguides with diffraction elements. Examples of displays, head-mounted devices, and other AR components usable with any of the embodiments disclosed herein are described in U.S. Patent Publication No. 2015/0016777. U.S. Patent Publication No. 2015/0016777 is hereby incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

Examples of Electromagnetic Localization

[0042] One approach to achieve high precision localization may involve the use of an electromagnetic (EM) field coupled with electromagnetic sensors that are strategically placed on the user’s AR head set, belt pack, and/or other ancillary devices (e.g., totems, haptic devices, gaming instruments, etc.). Electromagnetic tracking systems typically comprise at least an electromagnetic field emitter and at least one electromagnetic field sensor. The electromagnetic field emitter generates an electromagnetic field having a known spatial (and/or temporal) distribution in the environment of wearer of the AR headset. The electromagnetic filed sensors measure the generated electromagnetic fields at the locations of the sensors. Based on these measurements and knowledge of the distribution of the generated electromagnetic field, a pose (e.g., a position and/or orientation) of a field sensor relative to the emitter can be determined. Accordingly, the pose of an object to which the sensor is attached can be determined.

[0043] With reference now to FIG. 4, an example system diagram of an electromagnetic tracking system (e.g., such as those developed by organizations such as the Biosense division of Johnson & Johnson Corporation, Polhemus, Inc. of Colchester, Vermont, manufactured by Sixense Entertainment, Inc. of Los Gatos, Calif., and other tracking companies) is illustrated. In one or more embodiments, the electromagnetic tracking system comprises an electromagnetic field emitter 402 which is configured to emit a known magnetic field. As shown in FIG. 4, the electromagnetic field emitter may be coupled to a power supply (e.g., electric current, batteries, etc.) to provide power to the emitter 402.

[0044] In one or more embodiments, the electromagnetic field emitter 402 comprises several coils (e.g., at least three coils positioned perpendicular to each other to produce field in the X, Y and Z directions) that generate magnetic fields. This magnetic field is used to establish a coordinate space (e.g., an X-Y-Z Cartesian coordinate space). This allows the system to map a position of the sensors (e.g., an (X,Y,Z) position) in relation to the known magnetic field, and helps determine a position and/or orientation of the sensors. In one or more embodiments, the electromagnetic sensors 404a, 404b, etc. may be attached to one or more real objects. The electromagnetic sensors 404 may comprise smaller coils in which current may be induced through the emitted electromagnetic field. Generally the “sensor” components (404) may comprise small coils or loops, such as a set of three differently-oriented (e.g., such as orthogonally oriented relative to each other) coils coupled together within a small structure such as a cube or other container, that are positioned/oriented to capture incoming magnetic flux from the magnetic field emitted by the emitter (402), and by comparing currents induced through these coils, and knowing the relative positioning and orientation of the coils relative to each other, relative position and orientation of a sensor relative to the emitter may be calculated.

[0045] One or more parameters pertaining to a behavior of the coils and inertial measurement unit (“IMU”) components operatively coupled to the electromagnetic tracking sensors may be measured to detect a position and/or orientation of the sensor (and the object to which it is attached) relative to a coordinate system to which the electromagnetic field emitter is coupled. In one or more embodiments, multiple sensors may be used in relation to the electromagnetic emitter to detect a position and orientation of each of the sensors within the coordinate space. The electromagnetic tracking system may provide positions in three directions (e.g., X, Y and Z directions), and further in two or three orientation angles. In one or more embodiments, measurements of the IMU may be compared to the measurements of the coil to determine a position and orientation of the sensors. In one or more embodiments, both electromagnetic (EM) data and IMU data, along with various other sources of data, such as cameras, depth sensors, and other sensors, may be combined to determine the position and orientation. This information may be transmitted (e.g., wireless communication, Bluetooth, etc.) to the controller 406. In one or more embodiments, pose (or position and orientation) may be reported at a relatively high refresh rate in conventional systems. Conventionally an electromagnetic field emitter is coupled to a relatively stable and large object, such as a table, operating table, wall, or ceiling, and one or more sensors are coupled to smaller objects, such as medical devices, handheld gaming components, or the like. Alternatively, as described below in reference to FIG. 6, various features of the electromagnetic tracking system may be employed to produce a configuration wherein changes or deltas in position and/or orientation between two objects that move in space relative to a more stable global coordinate system may be tracked. In other words, a configuration is shown in FIG. 6 wherein a variation of an electromagnetic tracking system may be utilized to track position and orientation delta between a head-mounted component and a hand-held component, while head pose relative to the global coordinate system (say of the room environment local to the user) is determined otherwise, such as by simultaneous localization and mapping (“SLAM”) techniques using outward-capturing cameras which may be coupled to the head mounted component of the system.

[0046] The controller 406 may control the electromagnetic field generator 402, and may also capture data from the various electromagnetic sensors 404. It should be appreciated that the various components of the system may be coupled to each other through any electro-mechanical or wireless/Bluetooth means. The controller 406 may also comprise data regarding the known magnetic field, and the coordinate space in relation to the magnetic field. This information is then used to detect the position and orientation of the sensors in relation to the coordinate space corresponding to the known electromagnetic field.

[0047] One advantage of electromagnetic tracking systems is that they produce highly accurate tracking results with minimal latency and high resolution. Additionally, the electromagnetic tracking system does not necessarily rely on optical trackers, and sensors/objects not in the user’s line-of-vision may be easily tracked.

[0048] It should be appreciated that the strength of the electromagnetic field v drops as a cubic function of distance r from a coil transmitter (e.g., electromagnetic field emitter 402). Thus, an algorithm may be used based on a distance away from the electromagnetic field emitter. The controller 406 may be configured with such algorithms to determine a position and orientation of the sensor/object at varying distances away from the electromagnetic field emitter. Given the rapid decline of the strength of the electromagnetic field as the sensor moves farther away from the electromagnetic emitter, best results, in terms of accuracy, efficiency and low latency, may be achieved at closer distances. In typical electromagnetic tracking systems, the electromagnetic field emitter is powered by electric current (e.g., plug-in power supply) and has sensors located within 20ft radius away from the electromagnetic field emitter. A shorter radius between the sensors and field emitter may be more desirable in many applications, including AR applications.

[0049] With reference now to FIG. 5, an example flowchart describing a functioning of a typical electromagnetic tracking system is briefly described. At 502, a known electromagnetic field is emitted. In one or more embodiments, the magnetic field emitter may generate magnetic fields each coil may generate an electric field in one direction (e.g., X, Y or Z). The magnetic fields may be generated with an arbitrary waveform. In one or more embodiments, the magnetic field component along each of the axes may oscillate at a slightly different frequency from other magnetic field components along other directions. At 504, a coordinate space corresponding to the electromagnetic field may be determined. For example, the control 406 of FIG. 4 may automatically determine a coordinate space around the emitter based on the electromagnetic field. At 506, a behavior of the coils at the sensors (which may be attached to a known object) may be detected. For example, a current induced at the coils may be calculated. In other embodiments, a rotation of coils, or any other quantifiable behavior may be tracked and measured. At 508, this behavior may be used to detect a position or orientation of the sensor(s) and/or known object. For example, the controller 406 may consult a mapping table that correlates a behavior of the coils at the sensors to various positions or orientations. Based on these calculations, the position in the coordinate space along with the orientation of the sensors may be determined.

[0050] In the context of AR systems, one or more components of the electromagnetic tracking system may need to be modified to facilitate accurate tracking of mobile components. As described above, tracking the user’s head pose and orientation may be desirable in many AR applications. Accurate determination of the user’s head pose and orientation allows the AR system to display the right virtual content to the user. For example, the virtual scene may comprise a monster hiding behind a real building. Depending on the pose and orientation of the user’s head in relation to the building, the view of the virtual monster may need to be modified such that a realistic AR experience is provided. Or, a position and/or orientation of a totem, haptic device or some other means of interacting with a virtual content may be important in enabling the AR user to interact with the AR system. For example, in many gaming applications, the AR system can detect a position and orientation of a real object in relation to virtual content. Or, when displaying a virtual interface, a position of a totem, user’s hand, haptic device or any other real object configured for interaction with the AR system can be known in relation to the displayed virtual interface in order for the system to understand a command, etc. Conventional localization methods including optical tracking and other methods are typically plagued with high latency and low resolution problems, which makes rendering virtual content challenging in many augmented reality applications.

[0051] In one or more embodiments, the electromagnetic tracking system, discussed in relation to FIGS. 4 and 5 may be adapted to the AR system to detect position and orientation of one or more objects in relation to an emitted electromagnetic field. Typical electromagnetic systems tend to have a large and bulky electromagnetic emitters (e.g., 402 in FIG. 4), which is problematic for head-mounted AR devices. However, smaller electromagnetic emitters (e.g., in the millimeter range) may be used to emit a known electromagnetic field in the context of the AR system.

[0052] With reference now to FIG. 6, an electromagnetic tracking system may be incorporated with an AR system as shown, with an electromagnetic field emitter (602) incorporated as part of a hand-held controller 606. The controller 606 can be movable independently relative to the AR headset (or the belt pack 70). For example, the user can hold the controller 606 in his or her hand, or the controller could be mounted to the user’s hand or arm (e.g., as a ring or bracelet or as part of a glove worn by the user). In one or more embodiments, the hand-held controller may be a totem to be used in a gaming scenario (e.g., a multi-degree-of-freedom controller) or to provide a rich user experience in an AR environment or to allow user interaction with an AR system. In other embodiments, the hand-held controller may be a haptic device. In yet other embodiments, the electromagnetic field emitter may simply be incorporated as part of the belt pack 70. The hand-held controller 606 may comprise a battery 610 or other power supply that powers that electromagnetic field emitter (602). It should be appreciated that the electromagnetic field emitter (602) may also comprise or be coupled to an IMU 650 component configured to assist in determining positioning and/or orientation of the electromagnetic field emitter (602) relative to other components. This may be especially advantageous in cases where both the field emitter (602) and the sensors (604) are mobile. Placing the electromagnetic field emitter (602) in the hand-held controller rather than the belt pack, as shown in the embodiment of FIG. 6, helps ensure that the electromagnetic field emitter is not competing for resources at the belt pack, but rather uses its own battery source at the hand-held controller 606. In yet other embodiments, the electromagnetic field emitter (602) can be disposed on the AR headset and the sensors 604 can be disposed on the controller 606 or belt pack 70.

[0053] In one or more embodiments, the electromagnetic sensors 604 may be placed on one or more locations on the user’s headset, along with other sensing devices such as one or more IMUs or additional magnetic flux capturing coils 608. For example, as shown in FIG. 6, sensors (604, 608) may be placed on one or both sides of the head set (58). Since these sensors are engineered to be rather small (and hence may be less sensitive, in some cases), having multiple sensors may improve efficiency and precision. In one or more embodiments, one or more sensors may also be placed on the belt pack 70 or any other part of the user’s body. The sensors (604, 608) may communicate wirelessly or through Bluetooth to a computing apparatus that determines a pose and orientation of the sensors (and the AR headset to which it is attached). In one or more embodiments, the computing apparatus may reside at the belt pack 70. In other embodiments, the computing apparatus may reside at the headset itself, or even the hand-held controller 606. The computing apparatus may in turn comprise a mapping database (e.g., passable world model, coordinate space, etc.) to detect pose, to determine the coordinates of real objects and virtual objects, and may even connect to cloud resources and the passable world model, in one or more embodiments.

[0054] As described above, conventional electromagnetic emitters may be too bulky for AR devices. Therefore the electromagnetic field emitter may be engineered to be compact, using smaller coils compared to traditional systems. However, given that the strength of the electromagnetic field decreases as a cubic function of the distance away from the field emitter, a shorter radius between the electromagnetic sensors 604 and the electromagnetic field emitter (602) (e.g., about 3 to 3.5 ft) may reduce power consumption when compared to conventional systems such as the one detailed in FIG. 4.

[0055] This aspect may either be utilized to prolong the life of the battery 610 that may power the controller 606 and the electromagnetic field emitter (602), in one or more embodiments. Or, in other embodiments, this aspect may be utilized to reduce the size of the coils generating the magnetic field at the electromagnetic field emitter (602). However, in order to get the same strength of magnetic field, the power may be need to be increased. This allows for a compact electromagnetic field emitter unit (602) that may fit compactly at the hand-held controller 606.

[0056] Several other changes may be made when using the electromagnetic tracking system for AR devices. Although this pose reporting rate is rather good, AR systems may require an even more efficient pose reporting rate. To this end, IMU-based pose tracking may (additionally or alternatively) be used in the sensors. Advantageously, the IMUs may remain as stable as possible in order to increase an efficiency of the pose detection process. The IMUs may be engineered such that they remain stable up to 50-100 milliseconds. It should be appreciated that some embodiments may utilize an outside pose estimator module (e.g., IMUs may drift over time) that may enable pose updates to be reported at a rate of 10 to 20 Hz. By keeping the IMUs stable at a reasonable rate, the rate of pose updates may be dramatically decreased to 10 to 20 Hz (as compared to higher frequencies in conventional systems).

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