We tend to focus on virtual reality for entertainment purposes, but the technology has potential to aid with more productive tasks. HTC and developer Sixense Entertainment are launching a new software package called MakeVR that lets users take advantage of the Vive controller to aid in designing and modeling 3D objects. MakeVR allows users to create models and virtual sculptures, then export the results to CAD programs or 3D printers. According to Engadget, a more-capable version called MakeVR Pro will be available later this year.
The other bit of Vive news involves the more widespread release of the Vive Tracker. The Tracker widget can be attached to real-world objects so they can have their positional data tracked in VR experiences. The Vive Tracker was previously available in limited quantities to developers who applied for early access. The device comes packaged with a USB cable, a power adapter, and a USB dongle on a cradle. HTC says the Tracker's battery lasts about four hours and a half per charge. The Tracker may be useful even without HTC's Vive VR headset, too.
MakeVR is available in HTC's Viveport store starting today for $20. The Vive Tracker is also available now for $100, plus $25 for shipping. The rather stiff shipping fee only increases a little bit when multiple Trackers are on order, so gerbils wanting to use more than one Vive Tracker in MakeVR or other titles should probably order them all in one go. HTC recently-released open-source body tracking demo uses three Trackers to illustrate how multiple units can come together in a cool way.