HTC’s Vive Tracker allows objects to be tracked in VR. It utilizes the same weirdly shaped configuration at the top of the HTC Vive controller, tosses a battery into it and a tripod mount and for $99.99 allows you to bring objects into virtual reality with you.
It’s been open to developers for a few months but now the device and some associated bundles are going up for pre-order today, shipping in mid-December.
The intent is for developers to ship experiences with their own objects and mounts that are pre-rendered in-game so that everything is reliably tracked and the shape in the real world is identical to what you feel in the game. Right now, HTC is advertising some experiences that come with plastic tennis rackets or guns or arm straps.
It kind of feels like an evolution of those plastic tennis rackets and golf clubs that people started selling for the Nintendo Wii about 10 years ago. The obvious difference being that these are tracked in-game so there’s something actually being delivered beyond the gimmick.
Nevertheless, it’s unclear how far this is going to go for consumers, especially without HTC selling some standard objects like a stock gun for use in games. While something like straps for your arms or legs could make sense, there aren’t going to be a lot of people buying these if they need to get a new object to fix it to for every title they want to use it for.
That said, if you’re looking forward to bringing full-body tracking into your VR experience, this is definitely the best option out there for you right now.