Usens has raised $20 million to develop natural hand and head tracking for augmented reality and virtual reality applications. The company is built around the idea that once you immerse yourself in a virtual world, the next thing you want to do is interact with it using your hands and have it track your head movements accurately.
The investment will help the company launch its inside-out 26DOF (degrees of freedom) hand-tracking and 6DOF head-tracking tools for VR and AR. The tools let developers create more natural interactions in AR and VR without relying on wired controllers or cumbersome peripherals. It’s all about making AR and VR more fun and useful, and helping it on its way to fulfilling predictions that it could be a $120 billion industry by 2020.
The funding round was led by Fosun Kinzon Capital, with participation from returning investor Maison Capital and new investors Great Capital, Fortune Capital, Oriental Fortune Capital, iResearch Capital, and Chord Capital. ARM Innovation Ecosystem Accelerator also participated in this round with their funding, service and resources.
The company’s technology is being demonstrated live this week at the Augmented World Expo in Santa Clara, Calif.
“Tracking is critical to AR VR experiences,” said Anli He, CEO and co-founder of Usens, in a statement. “As AR VR display technologies approach mass adoption, we’re excited to bring great interactive solutions to help global platforms, hardware makers, and especially content developers overcome the complicated challenges of hand and position tracking. This funding round is further validation that we’re on the right path to bring compelling natural tracking technologies to augmented and virtual reality.”
Usens’ tracking leverages machine learning and computer vision techniques. With the 26DOF mobile hand tracking, this solution replaces the need for peripheral devices such as game controllers or gloves. The integrated experience of natural hand and head tracking, as well as the combination of AR and VR creates a new standard of reality the team refers to as “super reality.”
“For AR VR to achieve its potential, natural head and hand tracking is required,” said Donghui Pan, chairman and president of Fosun Kinzon Capital, in a statement. “It’s clear that AR VR is an explosive market. Already consumers want a more immersive experience, and hand controllers simply aren’t the solution. We’ve chosen to invest in Usens, because we’re confident the company has the deepest expertise and vision to provide this key that will help unlock mass-market ARVR adoption.”
Usens has more than 50 employees, including 20 at its headquarters in San Jose. It has raised $26.7 million to date.