Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and Disney Research Pittsburgh have devised a motion tracking technology that could eliminate much of the annoying lag that occurs in existing video game systems that use motion tracking, while also being extremely precise and highly affordable.

Called Lumitrack, the technology has two components: projectors and sensors. A structured pattern, which looks something like a very large barcode, is projected over the area to be tracked. Sensor units, either near the projector or on the person or object being tracked, can then quickly and precisely locate movements anywhere in that area.

The sensors require little power and would be inexpensive to assemble in volume. The components could even be integrated into mobile devices, such as smartphones. Many approaches exist for tracking human motion, including expensive, highly precise systems used to create computer-generated imagery (CGI) for films. Lumitrack’s combination of low latency, high precision and low cost make it suitable for many applications, including CGI and human-robot interaction.