uSens today brought new meaning to the term body slam. Its flagship hand and skeletal tracking system for VR now integrates the gold standard in AR depth mapping: SLAM.

Simultaneous localization and mapping, now a standard industry term, has been a hallmark of the AR development platforms launched recently by Facebook (Camera Effects) and Apple (ARkit). It applies dimensional mapping and realism to achieve what many consider to be “true AR.”

Meanwhile, uSens is an early leader with hand tracking technology. Among other things, it’s a key part of the VR value chain, enabling developers build apps that let users see — and manipulate virtual objects with — their hands. It’s a key cognitive element of realistic presence in VR.

The two technologies come together in today’s announcement. It can create a better sense of depth to where hands exist in an AR field of view. This could open the door for new hand tracking functionality, such as realistic manipulation (think: grab) of items at varying distances in AR.

But it also brings uSens beyond hand tracking. The company should be more broadly defined, as it enables 6 degree-of-freedom positional tracking and depth mapping in non hand-tracked scenerios and AR apps. This increases its utility and addressable market, a logical move.

uSense erstwhile focused mostly on headset-based experiences, where its flagship Fingo brought hand tracking into VR. Today’s move extends its applicability deeper into mobile AR — an important trend, given the aforementioned moves from the likes of Facebook and Apple.

As we examined in a recent report, Mobile AR will have a greater near-term opportunity, and thus begin to support an ecosystem of supporting players. Today’s announcement is emblematic of that, and we can expect more moves from immersive tech companies in the coming months.

“We carry around a supercomputer in our pocket at all times – our smartphones – and giving developers the tools to enhance the user experience on hardware we all already possess is key to increasing adoption,” said our friend and uSens CTO and co-founder Dr. Yue Fei in a statement.

See our previous interview with Dr. Fei here

Disclosure: ARtillry has no financial stake in the companies mentioned in this post, nor received payment for its production. Disclosure and ethics policy can be seen here.

Header image credit: uSens