With so much going on in the VR space at the moment it was easy to forget that the launch of HTC’s anticipated Vive Tracker was approaching, at least for developers. From today, it’s finally here.
The Vive Tracker is available to order from Vive’s own website. As previously confirmed, it costs $99, though there’s an extra $26 on top for shipping that takes it to $125 in total. If you’re planning on ordering multiple units then best get them in one batch.
Though this initial release is aimed at developers, we’ve not spotting any way to prevent regular customers from picking one up. Take note, though, that there’s very little (if any) available content actually supporting the Vive Tracker yet, hence why it’s being skewed towards developers for now. They’ll need time to actually make apps that support the device before HTC’s goes wide with its promised consumer roll out later in the year.
The Vive Tracker is designed to attach to real world items, bringing virtual representations of them into VR environments. Attaching it to the bottom of the baseball bat, for example, would allow developers to create an accurate baseball simulation game. With the device finally available to developers, HTC thinks that “hundreds” of accessories for its HTC Vive could be available in the near future.
We’re already starting to see some imaginative uses of the tech. We’ve used the Tracker to play local multiplayer VR games, practice putting out fires, and even seen it attached to pets to avoid knocking into them. It’s also being used to bring full-body tracking into VR, which is an application that developers seem to be quickly latching onto.
The Tracker isn’t the first instance of attaching a tracked VR object to a real world object, though. Last week Oculus and Harmonix launched Rift exclusive Rock Band VR, which requires players to put one of their Touch controllers around the stock of a plastic guitar to bring it into the virtual world.
It’s been a big day for Vive overall; HTC announced 33 new startups that were joining its Vive X accelerator programme, and revealed that it has partnered with Warner Bros. to create VR content for the upcoming movie adaptation of Ready Player One. Next up we’re expecting the company’s new Deluxe Audio Strap to launch in June.