Even though Valve offered up its tracking technology and SteamVR APIs for free last year, we've yet to see a proliferation of third-party VR products. That may be about to change, though. At CES, HTC was showing off its latest attempt to entice peripheral purveyors: the Vive Tracker. The new device is essentially a Vive-styled hockey puck with three stubby legs. HTC says you can slap it on any suitable object to track it in VR, in as similar fashion to the touch controllers included with the Vive.
UploadVR says the Trackers are about four inches across (or 10 cm) and have a six-hour battery life. A single screw hole lets users mount the device to whatever they wish. The site also says that the Tracker is supposed to begin "commercial shipping" in Q2 of this year, with pricing set to be announced at a later date. It's not yet entirely clear whether HTC intends to sell the Vive Tracker to end users, though.
TR biz guy Adam and editor-in-chief Jeff got to play with a demo of the devices at CES and came away impressed. "Future House" creators Master of Shapes had a demo titled Cover Me that allowed several players to join in a first-person shooter horde-mode experience, along with a player wearing the Vive headset. The non-VR players joined by attaching their smartphones to Vive Tracker-equipped handgun props. The TR boys said the demo worked shockingly well, especially considering that it required no extra hardware beyond the handgun props.