If you own a cat/dog/baby and an HTC Vive then you’re probably familiar with this scene. You’re playing your favorite room-scale game with all of your chairs, desks and other items cleared out of the way. You have a free space to run around in and forget about the real world, moving into the virtual one. Except all of a sudden you stumble and kick something soft. Something that moves. Something that runs away.
Then comes the guilt.
I’ve accidentally kicked my cats in VR more times than I care to count and each time it weighs heavy on my soul. That’s why I wrote about why I’d want to stick the new Vive Tracker on my pets when it releases later this year. Unseen Diplomacy developer Triangular Pixels has been thinking along the same lines, only it’s got its hands on one of the Tracker development kits and is already working on a real solution.
Yesterday the team’s Katie Goode posted up images of a modified cat jacket that sported the Tracker, worn by the developer’s 10 year old feline.
Work on this project has only just started, but the idea is to alert VR users to when their pets or children are in the room by bringing them up within the given experience. That way you can say goodbye to any surprising collisions with friendly pets. We’d love to see this open sourced so that any developer could include it in their VR experience and the virtual world becomes a bit safer for our furry friends.
Goode clarifies that the Tracker is light and the jacket is a comfortable fit, thus isn’t causing her cat any distress.
I can’t help but wonder if I could pick my cat up and use it as a flamethrower in VR, but PETA might have something to say about that.
This is actually something Triangular Pixels has been thinking about for a while, long before the Tracker was announced. In fact the team even submitted its own idea for a tracked-collar for the cats for a Viveport competition last year.
It’s early days for the project, then, but we’ll keep our eyes on it. The Vive Tracker itself is shipping out to select devs now for free and will be available at $99.99 later in the year.