Vive Tracker Revealed
A hockey puck sized accessory from HTC called the Vive Tracker will be available in Q2. The device is said to have six hours of battery life and can be attached to a host of forthcoming accessories for the HTC Vive headset. At CES the accessory was shown attached to a fire hose, gloves, a baseball bat and two different types of guns. For precise movement tracking, the Vive Tracker uses the same SteamVR technology from Valve as HTC’s VR headset and controllers. So, the same base stations installed in the homes of Vive owners will be able to see the movement of the Vive Tracker and its attached objects. HTC said that at least 1,000 would be given out to developers for free.
HTC is also planning an accessory for the Vive featuring an improved strap with integrated audio, much like the Oculus Rift. Tested has a 9-minute video looking at both accessories.
HTC announced wider availability for its TPCast add-on that allows the Vive to run wirelessly for two hours at a time. It will be available worldwide in Q2 for $249.
Finally, HTC announced a subscription service through its VivePort software portal that will allow users to download content on an all-you-can-eat basis for a monthly fee. The service is focusing on non-gaming content. VivePort will also expand to support licensed content for Arcade operators and apps for professional use.
Companies Use VR to Sell Their Products at CES
VR had a presence at CES beyond directly-related products. FLIR had a VR simulator to show the world in infrared, Denso used VR to demonstrate their Vehicle-to-Vehicle and Vehicle-to-Infrastructure communication technology, and Volkswagen used the tech to demonstrate concepts for future car infotainment systems.
The trial between Oculus and Zenimax began this week in Dallas, Texas, with Facebook issuing a statement: “Oculus and its founders have invested a wealth of time and money in VR because we believe it can fundamentally transform the way people interact and communicate. We’re disappointed that another company is using wasteful litigation to attempt to take credit for technology that it did not have the vision, expertise, or patience to build.”