Above is a concept image of a facial tracking rig produced by a student of Hao Li, University of Southern California Department of Computer Science.  While admittedly not the most aesthetically pleasing design, the existing tech is looking promising. 

Dr. Martin Breidt, a research technician at the Max Plank Institute for Biological Cybernetics, recently spoke with VoicesofVR about face tracking in real-time, adding that some researchers, several of whom work for Oculus Research, have been developing interesting ways of achieving it in VR.  Although this information is unconfirmed, he added “Anyone’s face can be instantly tracked and the users can be switched without an extra calibration step,”

“During tracking, we explicitly segment face regions from any occluding parts by detecting outliers in the shape and appearance input using an exponentially smoothed and user-adaptive tracking model as prior.”

Below is a video showing off the currently technology.  Interestingly the users face seems to be tracked consistently no matter what the action, whether covering their face with their hands, drinking for a cup or putting their hair in front of their face.

Personally, I'd love to see this a reality to use within socialVR applications such as AltspaceVR. You could imagine it would take a shared online experience to a whole new level.

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