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


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.

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  1. 1.

    Vive Tracker:, last visited on April 3rd, 2018.

  2. 2.

    IKinema Orion:, last visited on April 3rd, 2018.

  3. 3.

    Vive IK Demo:, last visited on April 3rd, 2018.

  4. 4.

    Final IK:, last visited on April 3rd, 2018.

  5. 5.

    Body Tracking Demo:, last visited on April 4th, 2018.

  6. 6.

    Microsoft Kinect:, last visited on January 28th, 2018.

  7. 7.

    Nintendo Wii:, last visited on January 28th, 2018.

  8. 8.

    OptiTrack system:, last visited on January 17th, 2018.

  9. 9.

    PrioVR:, last visited on July 31st, 2018.

  10. 10.

    Perception Neuron:, last visited on July 31st, 2018.

  11. 11.

    Xsense:, last visited on 31st July, 2018.

  12. 12.

    MakeHuman:, last visited on February 3rd, 2018.

  13. 13.

    Kore:, last visited on April 3rd, 2018.

  14. 14.

    OpenGEX:, last visited on February 21st, 2018.

  15. 15.

    KCF Tracker:, last visited on February 17th, 2017.

  16. 16.

    Minimum requirements:, last visited on February 5th, 2018.

  17. 17.

    Question: “I find the VR in general exciting”, five-level Likert scale, \(N=13\), \({\hbox {AVR}}=4.92\), \({\hbox {SD}}=\pm \,0.27\), question: “I like the idea of body tracking in VR”, five-level Likert scale, \(N=13\), \({\hbox {AVR}}=4.92\), \({\hbox {SD}}=\pm \,0.27\).

  18. 18.

    Question: “I felt like I was a part of the VR”, five-level Likert scale, \(N=13\), \({\hbox {AVR}}=4.3\), \({\hbox {SD}}=\pm \,0.48\), question: “I could identify myself with the avatar”, five-level Likert scale, \(N=13\), \({\hbox {AVR}}=4.07\), \({\hbox {SD}}=\pm \,0.49\).

  19. 19.

    Question: “The movements in the VR have corresponded to the real movements”, five-level Likert scale, \(N=13\), \({\hbox {AVR}}=4.23\), \({\hbox {SD}}=\pm \,0.59\), question: “The tracking was accurate”, five-level Likert scale, \(N=13\), \({\hbox {AVR}}=4.07\), \({\hbox {SD}}=\pm \,0.64\).

  20. 20.

    Question: “The movements of the avatar were delayed”, five-level Likert scale, \(N=13\), \({\hbox {AVR}}=1.23\), \({\hbox {SD}}=\pm \,0.43\).

  21. 21.

    Question: “The tracking had some jitter problems”, five-level Likert scale, \(N=13\), \({\hbox {AVR}}=2.37\), \({\hbox {SD}}=\pm \,1.25\).

  22. 22.

    Question: “I would like body tracking also in other VR games”, five-level Likert scale, \(N=13\), \({\hbox {AVR}}=4.92\), \({\hbox {SD}}=\pm \,0.27\).

  23. 23.

    Leap Motion:, last visited on January 19th, 2018.

  24. 24.

    Hi5 VR Glove:, last visited on January 19th, 2018.

  25. 25.

    VRgluv:, last visited on January 19th, 2018.

  26. 26.

    HaptX:, last visited on January 19th, 2018.

  27. 27.

    VRtouch:, last visited on January 19th, 2018.


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Correspondence to Polona Caserman.

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Caserman, P., Garcia-Agundez, A., Konrad, R. et al. Real-time body tracking in virtual reality using a Vive tracker. Virtual Reality 23, 155–168 (2019).

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