Today at the technological expo CES 2017, HTC has presented a new accessory for VR headgear, which will make the adding of specific peripheral devices into the Vive ecosystem easier. Vive Tracker device uses the SteamVR tracking technologies to turn pistols, gloves and a lot of other things that are hard to emulate with regular gamepads into wireless controllers.
Round, the size a little bit less than the top part of the regular Vive controller, the accessory weighs 85 grams. It is powered by battery, which lasts 6 hours, although the peripherals, to which it connects, might require a different charging cycle. HTC has announced that the compatible devices will be manufactured by its 8 partners, and their projects will include camras, gloves and a real bat.
In the first half of 2017, HTC will send a thousand of Vive Trackers to developers, and the consumers and businesses will be able to buy the devices in the second quarter. The price will be announced closer to the release.
HTC’s and Valve’s, which provides the whole Vive ecosystem with the technologies of objects and human tracking, approaches required a compromise. Vive Tracker will make the capabilities and impressions of its users richer, but this is a device which has to be bought, repaired and charged, sometimes together with the tracked accessory. One can’t also call it invisible. Well, we shouldn’t forget that progress doesn’t happen overnight.