ARtillry Innovators is an interview show that features XR companies and influencers. Our guest in the latest episode is uSens VP of Product Development Yiwen Rong. See the full episode below and past episodes here.
Hand tracking is one of the key building blocks for XR. Used mostly in VR scenerios, the core technology is increasingly applied accross the XR spectrum. And one company that embodies (excuse the pun) that range is hand tracking technology provider uSens.
“What will be the preferred way of interaction?” uSens VP of Product Developmpent Yiwen Rong posed in the latest ARtillry Innovators episode. “Our conclusion is the same thing that you have in real life which is your bare hands. So that’s why we’re so interested in bare hand interaction.”
Building from its core skeletal tracking technology, it has begun to move into new areas such as AR. That includes its SLAM depth mapping that we wrote about in July, as well as its uSensAR Engine that brings AR to billions of lower-end Android devices that ARCore does’t currently reach.
This AR democratization is a driving principle for the company says Rong. It builds on a concept of what he calls “zero- cost hardware.” In these early days for immersive technology, hardware cost creates an adoption barrier. So zero-cost hardware is the smartphone you already carry.
“The reason why it’s hard for people to adopt is that you have low-cost hardware.” said Rong. “That’s not good enough. You need to have zero-cost hardware… and there’s one solution: Make that piece of software work on cell phones… that can democratize the experience of AR.”
Doing the math, uSensAR brings AR to the broader Android universe which is 2.6 billion global devices, as opposed to the 100 million that are currently ARCore compatible. This also aligns with uSens’ announcement at GDC yesterday that its opening up the uSensAR beta to developers.
Beyond democratizing AR, Rong believes the next opportune areas of development include multiplayer support, as well as education applications. We agree on both counts, especially multiplayer functionality and its potential to unlock AR social apps and network effect.
“We’re looking for killer apps, and the first place that’s happening is games,” said Rong. “If you want to make thing’s fancier, you do multi-player and that’s where AR is going to play an even bigger role. So we’re working with gaming vendors to bring new dimensions to gaming.”
See the full interview with Rong below and stay tuned for more XR analysis and strategy coverage in written and multimedia form.
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.