HTC Vive has long been in the business of making virtual reality as immersive as possible. Whether that’s through hardware like its headsets or software such as the Vive XR Suite. Another avenue much explored is external trackers, devices that can be attached to your body to track limbs or to objects, bringing them into VR. Today, HTC’s new Vive Tracker has been revealed, and it is very different from previous generations.
The current model is the Vive Tracker 3.0, which requires external, Steam Lighthouse base stations to operate. These new trackers don’t need any external hardware, they’re self-tracking.
HTC’s self-tracking tracker
There’s no official name for them yet – although given HTC Vive’s history the Vive Tracker 4.0 is highly likely. The device features two high field-of-view (FoV) cameras, an onboard processor and weighs in at less than 100g.
Utilising the same tracking algorithms found in the Vive XR Elite and Vive Focus 3, up to five trackers can work off one USB dongle. And because it is self-tracking, the tracker is far more versatile in where it can be used. This goes for the mounting solution as well, employing the same pogo pins and mounting system as before, plus there’s support for standard UNC mounting (1/4” threaded screw). The tracker has a new quick-release system for easy swapping and HTC will release the CAD files so users can 3D print their own custom mounts.
Compatible with OpenXR, HTC’s new Vive Tracker will arrive in Q3 2023. There’s no word on the price, but with all that extra tech squeezed in it’ll likely cost more than the Vive Tracker 3.0‘s £129.99 price.
The self-tracking tracker continues a new era of accessories that don’t require external solutions. Meta’s Quest Pro controllers were the first to offer in-built sensors to make them more versatile. As the technology is improved expect to see even more self-tracking products.
Is a self-tracking tracker something you’d buy? Did you know Vive XR Elite pre-orders were extended? Let us know in the comments below.