HTC’s $100 Vive Tracker, coming March 27, allows crazy DIY VR accessories

By on March 8, 2017
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The Vive is the most free-range VR experience on the market, but it could get a lot more accessory-connected soon. HTC announced the Vive Tracker is coming to developers March 27 for $100 (£99 UK; equivalent to AU$138).

The Vive Trackers are extra wireless accessories that can turn nearly anything into a VR-trackable object. Baseball bats, rifles, gloves, cameras: imagine one of the Vive’s wireless controller heads lopped off and stuck onto something, and you have, in a sense, what the Tracker is.

What this means, based on my time with Vive Tracker, is a lot of crazy new ways to play with real things in VR. I got to try the Vive Tracker with a handful of early developer-built VR experiences at CES in January. It was a blast.

The VR of things

I was given a baseball bat, and a VR headset was slipped over my face. Not a great combo for me, someone who can’t hit a real baseball with any accuracy at all. But it’s the demo I remember most, among all my VR experiences at CES in Las Vegas this year… because it felt real.

Reality, paradoxically, is something VR could still use more of. It’s not very aware of surroundings, although inside-out tracking and mixed-reality cameras might help. Accessories might help, too. And there could be a lot of accessories coming very soon, if the Vive Tracker is any indication. It’s one of several extensions to HTC’s Vive VR platform coming this year, along with a wireless VR adapter and a new head strap and headphone design.

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