HTC’s anticipated Tracker peripheral for the HTC Vive is unsurprisingly proving popular with the VR developer community.
A few weeks back HTC opened up applications for developer kits for its new device, which is expected to launch fully sometime in Q2 2017. Companies working on VR content can sign up to request free units. HTC was offering 1,000 dev kits to help kick start the ecosystem, but it’s seen more than double that number of applications. 2,300 of them, to be precise.
The first of these applicants to be approved should be getting their kits this week — they started being sent out last week — giving them likely a few months’ headstart on developing content before launch. To apply, developers had to fill out a form that asked them how many units they would like, and to detail the projects they were working on. In a blog post, the company noted that it is committed to reviewing every single application for a kit, and is keeping the process open for longer than they originally projected to do so.
The Vive tracker is a peripheral that’s essentially designed to be attached to real world objects, bringing them into the virtual world. We’ve already seen it used for baseball games, fire fighting simulations, and even attached to smartphones to create a rudimentary form of local multiplayer in VR. The device has huge potential to open up the types of experiences that are possible in VR.
Paired with Valve’s new base station prototypes, which will be shipping to developers later this year, we could start seeing vastly more immersive VR experiences on Vive very soon. HTC is also set to release a new headstrap with integrated audio for the Vive around the same time as the Tracker.
It’s not yet clear how much the Tracker is going to cost. GDC is right around the corner, though, and we’ll hopefully get some answers there.