Natural Point erratic tracking problems

This is the place for comments, criticisms and even the occasional compliment related to the SmartNav drivers and profiler. Also the place to discuss and review support issues.
qiyyq
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:03 pm

Natural Point erratic tracking problems

Post by qiyyq » Wed Jun 20, 2012 4:12 pm

I've had natural point for about 3 years. In the last few months, it has become increasingly erratic. The cursor tends to jump around the screen. It usually starts okay, and then gets quickly worse; often it is unusable. Checking the tracking tab shows that the camera sometimes picks up light sources from everywhere but the actual hat - sometimes it sees nothing. I've tried repositioning the PC/camera/screen, also tried fresh reflective spots. I am running the latest version of smartnav.

Has anyone had similar issues? I have physical difficultes using a PC and have found this system of invaluable help. Support from Naturalpoint themselves had been less than helpful.

NaturalPoint - Mike
Posts: 1896
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:41 am
Location: Corvallis, OR

Re: Natural Point erratic tracking problems

Post by NaturalPoint - Mike » Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:21 am

Could you post a screenshot of the Tracking Tab when it exhibits this behavior? That may help with trying to diagnose the problem.

qiyyq
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:03 pm

Re: Natural Point erratic tracking problems

Post by qiyyq » Sat Jun 30, 2012 4:05 pm

Thanks for replying.
Image
This is the normal view, with the reflective spot on the hat clearly shown and the background filtered out.

Image
When the cursor jumps, the tracking tab shows flashes of the background, and the green spot jumps about. It feels as if the light filtering is not working properly; during the day, the software is unsable due to the amount of light.

NaturalPoint - Mike
Posts: 1896
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:41 am
Location: Corvallis, OR

Re: Natural Point erratic tracking problems

Post by NaturalPoint - Mike » Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:55 pm

This is very much an issue with IR interference. A large amount of IR light is essentially reflecting off your face with enough intensity to be picked up by the camera. It almost looks as if there's a window directly behind the camera. How does it function if you move to a different location during the day?

qiyyq
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:03 pm

Re: Natural Point erratic tracking problems

Post by qiyyq » Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:43 pm

The window is to the right of the screen as I look at it. I have moved the camera a few times without success. It is a small room with limited options. I have moved rooms since first installing natural point, from one without an external window, and therefore little direct sunlight - though the problems began even before the move.

As I mentioned, it works better at night, but it is still prone to erratic behaviour. It seems sensitive to activity on the hard disk. I do have an older PC which performs well otherwise.

NaturalPoint - Mike
Posts: 1896
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:41 am
Location: Corvallis, OR

Re: Natural Point erratic tracking problems

Post by NaturalPoint - Mike » Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:54 pm

What kind of lighting do you have in the room?

qiyyq
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:03 pm

Re: Natural Point erratic tracking problems

Post by qiyyq » Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:08 am

A small desktop light, kind of like a halogen light. I have it to the right and behind the monitor / tracking camera, facing the ceiling.

Something that occured to me. In the old room/setup, in the few months before moving to the present room, I had to angle the camera to the left in order the pick up the reflective strip. Also, at the same time, if I moved too close to the camera, the cursor would jump. The light source in that room - again, a desktop light - was behind and to the left of the screen?!

NaturalPoint - Mike
Posts: 1896
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:41 am
Location: Corvallis, OR

Re: Natural Point erratic tracking problems

Post by NaturalPoint - Mike » Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:16 pm

Halogen emits light in the IR spectrum pretty heavily. It's very possible this is the source of your issue (the halogen lamp outputting high concentrations of IR causing more objects to appear unfiltered by the SmartNav).

qiyyq
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:03 pm

Re: Natural Point erratic tracking problems

Post by qiyyq » Sat Jul 07, 2012 4:05 pm

That kind of explains things. Turning the light off seems to sort the problem - the tracking tab looks good. But obviously this makes PC use difficult. For evening use, I will try it with a 'normal' desk light. My real issue now it during the day. The natural light drives it crazy.

qiyyq
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:03 pm

Re: Natural Point erratic tracking problems

Post by qiyyq » Sun Jul 08, 2012 3:09 am

I thought I had used a different light in the old room. Turns out is was the same one, placed in the same position. As an experiement I rolled back to the software version I used in the first place 3.20.034. Same problems. Ok in the dark, with overhead light etc. Open the blinds or turn on the side light and it goes nuts.

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