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Hillcrest Labs launches new sensor node for augmented and virtual reality

Hillcrest Labs, a subsidiary of InterDigital, has launched the latest expansion of its sensor node product line.

The BNO085, a 9-Axis System in Package (SiP), features an enhanced sensor fusion algorithm tuned specifically for use in virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and 3D audio applications.

VR systems that use BNO085 benefit from more accurate alignment between the controllers and headset even when the controllers are outside the field of view of the systems’ cameras. 

The BNO085 includes all the same features of its predecessor, the BNO080, which is used today in a wide variety of VR, AR, 3D audio, robotics and IoT devices.

It combines Hillcrest Labs’ high-performance, proprietary MotionEngine sensor processing software with an accelerometer, magnetometer, gyroscope, and a low-power 32-bit ARM Cortex M0+ MCU in a single package.

The BNO085 provides exceptional sensor fusion, activity tracking and application-specific features to enable an exciting array of sensor-based consumer and industrial products.

The enhancements in the BNO085 were designed to deliver precise motion tracking for VR controllers in both inside-out and outside-in systems and superior head tracking performance for VR, AR and 3D audio headsets. The BNO085 enhancements designed for VR systems include:

  • Improved motion tracking with both inside-out and outside-in camera systems;
  • Significantly reduced heading error to keep controllers aligned with the headset;
  • Tight synchronization between controllers in dual controller systems; and
  • Stabilized orientation output that tracks the rotational motion of one or more controllers, even when outside the camera’s field of view.

The BNO085 features low-power consumption and a compact size while still providing the low-latency, 1KHz sample rate, smooth orientation output, and accurate activity tracking features present in the previous generation.

Developers and integrators benefit through faster time-to-market, reductions in development time, reduced BOM cost, and the highest precision and quality.

3Glasses and ANTVR, two renowned brands in VR, are already using Hillcrest Labs’ BNO085 to deliver superior performance to their customers.

Shaojun Dang, CTO, 3Glasses, says: “The BNO085’s fused data resulted in superior accuracy when used in our VR controllers. Jumps in heading were virtually eliminated leading to much better performance.

“The enhancements provided by the Hillcrest Labs’ team ultimately resulted in the successful certification of our S1 product as an approved Windows 10 Mixed Reality device.”

Qin Zheng, founder and CEO, ANTVR, says: “Our first-generation VR systems faced challenges in keeping the two motion controllers aligned with each other during game play.

“Hillcrest Labs’ new BNO085 solution dramatically improves the performance of our system, which results in a superior user experience that leaves our customers more satisfied with ANTVR’s product.”

The BNO085 is available for production orders and immediate sampling along with documentation and evaluation tools.