HTC’s Vive Tracker has been announced: an accessory able to place nearly any item into virtual space. These puck-like devices will probably retail for around $100 plus, similar to a stand alone Vive wand controller.
The release of this accessory is both good and bad news. It’s good news for the consumer and future Vive accessory manufacturer due to the increased ease of integrating a product into Vive’s and Steam’s ecosystem, and hence into the games that support the Vive. It is bad news though for accessory makers who are already hard at work creating their own tracked devices, or are trying to work around the missing tracking support.
HTC’s Vive blog also announced multiple implementations of their “puck” tracker already displayed at CES 2017 – guns, a fire hose, haptic gloves and others. At only 85 grams and 99.65mm diameter and 42.27mm height, the Tracker will be easy to attach to many new devices, with integration also easily handled through a micro-USB port and an internal battery.
These implementations are all exciting; solving many of the problems in integrating real-life stuff into your VR space, and enabling the same tracking fidelity for 3rd party devices as HTC’s own Vive wands – the pucks are after all based on the same technology, and miniaturized. VR technology is coming along nicely, but the usual bedlam surrounding any new technology is definitely present – the Vive Tracker is game-changing, but for the better.