Noob req advice re obtaining head tracking data


#1

TL;DR:
?is there any way to get 6dof head tracking data

Situation:
I’m ignorant of code beyond HTML, but very happy to learn/try anything with a youtube tutorial or a decent wiki. Zapbox 2.0 ordered; I’m keen to use it with an android phone displaying FlightGear running on Linux on a cheap laptop in stereoscopic mode via a VNC. (At the time of writing, head tracking is provided via OpenTrack with data obtained from a webcam observing a homemade LED clip).
So far as I understand it from reading a .xml file of which I have limited understanding, flightgear zeroes the head tracking data upon loading &/or upon the “=” key being pressed; it interprets the received head tracking data as deviation from that zero point.

Question:
Is it possible to obtain 6dof head-tracking data from the ZapBox app:
1). in any format, but more specifically
2). in a format which could be transmitted directly to opentrack via UDP, or which I could use with a tool like freePIE to then pass on to opentrack?

The ‘So What?’ of answering this question for ZapBox:
Not wishing to blow smoke up anywhere, but ZapBox clearly has potential to provide immersive social interaction in one’s own home, with comparatively negligible user investment. I’d hope a clever soul would be able to take a user’s head-tracking data (and ideally hand-tracking data) in order to create a networked opponent’s avatar which could appear to sit on the other side of one’s own coffee table, and play poker, or similar. The implications for the advertiser in this context - for example the whisky distillery whose bottle appears next to one’s opponent, or the sunglasses manufacturer whose product appears on the dashboard of a simulated aircraft - are that they can see how often, and for how long, one’s gaze spends on their product (and indeed whether or not this resulted in future purchase, but I suppose that’s beyond the scope of ZapBox).

Thanks for any time and consideration anyone feels able to give to this notion - I appreciate it is a bit left-field, I’m a complete development ignoramus, and that the best advice I could be given is the name of someone I could pay to develop an app for ZapBox’s store which pushes out head tracking data for opentrack use in much the same way that an app like smoothtrack does. Were this the case, I’d happily accept any recommendation. I’d also be happy to release the result for free to encourage people to buy the ZapBox hardware. (or a nominal sum, if Zappar felt people only value things they pay for, which may well be true!).

Yours sincerely,
Al

P.S.: edited to add: (i). apologies, this was written post night-shift, and the so-what is a little bit unrelated; I just really wanted to incentivise anyone who cared to answer! (ii). a smidge more context about how I understand flightgear to receive head tracking information.


#2

Hi,

Thanks for posting your thoughts - I’m definitely with you that the price-point of ZapBox opens all sorts of interesting opportunities!

The work we’re doing for All-New ZapBox involves us essentially writing a new runtime that will expose ZapBox tracking for native apps (currently ZapBox tracking is tightly coupled to our content platform, so we only support building content in ZapWorks Studio).

The new runtime will definitely expose 6-DoF user and controller tracking data. We’re also actively looking into supporting using ZapBox as a streaming client for PC VR apps - more details on that in the latest update post on our All-New ZapBox Kickstarter project page.


#3

Simon,

Much obliged for your taking the time to reply - doubly so for your looking into supporting ZapBox as a streaming client for PC VR apps.

I hope to have time over the next year or two to make a 360-degree photo viewer that would permit navigation around a library of museum exhibits (if anyone else reading is capable of this & keen, please do feel free to DM me): I think your work making ZapBox Unity-friendly is a real force enabler for noobs such as myself.

All the best to you and your team, and I hope ZapBox becomes the platform on which the next Twitter/Facebook/Whatsapp/TikTok is developed!

Al