One of the most promising early applications for the HTC Vive Tracker we’ve seen is full-body tracking. Using two Vive controllers, the headset, and three Trackers attached to feet and torsos, you can get a pretty accurate representation of where your real body is in the virtual world. It’s great for gaming, but IKinema is looking to take it a step forward with Orion.
The UK-based company, which has already worked with the likes of Capcom and Square Enix, has its own mocap system using the Trackers and controllers, though in the video below it replaces the headset itself with a fourth Tracker strapped to the user’s head. You can also use the software with the headset, allowing you to bring full body tracking to games. You can see it being used pretty elegantly in the video below.
IKinema is set to offer Orion on a yearly subscription of $500, launching in Q2 of 2017. However, HTC has already said it plans to open source its own full body tracking solution and developers like Cloudgate Studios already working out their own solutions for games.
I asked IKinema what it makes its software worth the charge. The company told me that its tech includes “the full capabilities” of IKinema Fully Body solving, which is already used by several high-end studios.
“Orion incorporates the same solver that is used by studios using high end mocap systems such as (Vicon, OptiTrack),” a representative told us, later adding that it includes “our specific know-how on cleaning up and processing the data to get the best quality character motion.”
The company also sees it as a low cost solution for mocap. The price of a Vive and three trackers is around $1,100, so that’s $1,600 in the first year. Add on an extra $100 if you need the fourth Vive tracker for looking into the real world during mocap.
It looks like full body tracking with Vive’s new add-ons are going to be a major application. The question of just how people access the tech remains to be seen.