After all the teasing recently on Twitter, HTC Vive has finally unveiled what all the fuss is about, and it isn’t a new headset – not yet anyway. The company has revealed its third-generation Vive Tracker and a Vive Facial Tracker.
The Vive Tracker originally launched back in 2017, allowing developers to play with full-body tracking or the tracking of peripherals. Today’s launch offers a new and improved Vive Tracker 3.0, providing up to 75% increased battery life, 15% reduction in weight, and a 33% smaller footprint over the previous generation. That means a single charge should give you around seven hours of continuous use.
Fully compatible with SteamVR 2.0 and 1.0 tracking solutions and all SteamVR-based headsets, the Vive Tracker 3.0 is fully backwards compatible with previous generations and features the same mounting system for easy integration into existing setups. It’s available in Europe today, retailing for £129 GBP/€139 EUR on HTC Vive’s website as well as participating retailers Scan, Amazon and Overclockers UK.
Trackers are a vital part of VR experiences like Rezzil Player 21, a title designed for football training. “The new VIVE mini-Tracker has faultless tracking for Rezzil, and great reliability,” said the Rezzil team. “In addition the smaller size really helps with younger Academy players, meaning skills development can be supported for any age group. Rezzil works with the best football clubs in the world, so only the best hardware will do.”
The Vive Facial Tracker, on the other hand, is entirely new. As the name suggests, this new add-on tracks your face for a real-time depiction of facial expressions. Able to track 38 facial movements across the lips, jaw, teeth, tongue, chin, and cheeks, essential for making avatars more expressive and lifelike. Able to simply stick to the HTC Vive Pro – no mention of Vive Cosmos compatibility – the tracker has a dual-camera setup with a 60Hz tracking rate and an IR illuminator for low light situations. It’s also available in Europe today, retailing for £129/€139 via the HTC Vive website.
“The VR community has unlimited creativity and we’ve seen the VIVE Tracker everywhere from industrial use, film production, to sports, gaming, and more. With a sleeker design and even longer battery life, the new VIVE Tracker 3.0 is even more versatile,” said Graham Wheeler, General Manager of HTC EMEA in a statement. “And with the new VIVE Facial Tracker, it’s easier than ever to create ultra-realistic characters.”
As HTC Vive continues to reveal more of its 2021 hardware plans, VRFocus will keep you updated.