Since the early 1980s, the Tracker Project at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has been working on wide-area head tracking for virtual and augmented environments. Our long-term goal has been to achieve the high performance required for accurate visual simulation throughout our entire laboratory, beyond into the hallways, and eventually even outdoors.

In this article, we present results and a complete description of our most recent electro-optical system, the HiBall Tracking System. In particular, we discuss motivation for the geometric configuration and describe the novel optical, mechanical, electronic, and algorithmic aspects that enable unprecedented speed, resolution, accuracy, robustness, and flexibility.

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