How To Build Your Own IR Head Tracker

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Dan the man

I am not into computer games at all - however I am into ergonomics, and I consider head tracking perhaps the ultimate alternative to normal mouse movement. 

The ergonomic benefits, as I see it (without having actually tried it yet!), are threefold:

  1. First, obviously, it eliminates most normal mouse usage, which giving the mousing wrist a much-needed vacation.  For fine work such as graphic design, I'm assuming that head tracking lacks the necessary detail.  There are other alternatives for this kind of work, such as Wacam tablets.
  2. Since the mousing hand no longer has to reach for the pointing device, which is usually located much too far to the right becuase of the numeric keypad placement on most keyboards, the right arm and shoulder benefit - probably reducing the risk of a nasty disorder called ulnar deviation.
  3. Lastly, the keyboard can now be properly centered in front of the user, and the hands kept either resting on the desk or using highly efficient keyboard shortcuts.  Some studies indicate that keyboard usage is less likely, statistically, to result in RSI.

I'm bookmarking this post for my wish list, but I do not plan to hold my breath waiting to get time to try it.  I did once install FreeTrack on a workstation, but just as an experiment.  I tried turning off the lights and using a penlight for single-point tracking.  The results were predictably lousy - my pointer seemed to be sleepwalking.  LOL.

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Regards, DTM

Check out our infrared heaters - you can keep warm with the same kind of light waves you use to control your computer ;-)

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AndyYankee17

I don't get head tracking. In RL when I turn my head my eyes move and everything in my frame of reference moves in relation to my head. With IR head tracking my monitor stays in the same place. I've seen it advertised as being used with flight simulators. in real life if you look down you'll see a yoke. with a head tracker you'll see a keyboard and where your eye's once were a yoke.

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air467

head tracking is more like moving your head while still looking at the screen: so moving your head down slightly but looking up so you still see the screen

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Lepton

Or for 170 bucks you could just buy TrackIR Pro and be assured of a build quality, software updates, and built-in support in games.

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