Kinect VR Locomotion System


Virtual reality consumer devices have been on the market for more than three years and are becoming increasingly more affordable. Since the middle of this year, 2019, standalone virtual reality headsets such as the Oculus Quest have also been available for consumers. However, the locomotion-methods have not changed much since the release of the first developer kit in early 2013.

Using the Unity3D game engine, a locomotion prototype has been developed that uses the Microsoft Kinect for gesture recognition and translates the recognized gestures into motion using interpretation software. It has been found that compared to joystick locomotion, the Kinect is able to perform most actions without any problems. The prototype was developed as part of my bachelor thesis for the Virtual and Augmented Realities study program.

In direct comparison, the Kinect locomotion solution is about 21% slower than the joystick when it comes to running a test environment. The Kinect also takes an average of 522 milliseconds longer to stop and is about 0.87 units less precise. Nevertheless, Microsoft Kinect can be used for moving in Virtual Reality.


The prototype is open-source and available on GitHub: