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HTC Vive debuts new hardware products to grow virtual reality ecosystem

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Vive Tracker and Vive Deluxe Audio Strap bring new content and peripheral opportunities to developers, retailers and VR customers 

Vive  expects commercial wireless VR adaptors to ship in 2017

HTC VIVE™, the leader in room-scale Virtual Reality (VR), today debuted two premium accessories that will be available to consumers later this year, the Vive  Tracker™ and Vive Deluxe Audio Strap™. The Vive Tracker will open new options for developers to make VR even more immersive with additional tracking capabilities and new peripherals. The Vive Deluxe Audio Strap is designed for a more comfortable and convenient VR experience, with integrated earphones and a sizing dial for a quick adjustment of the headstrap. In addition, the new headstrap routes the 3-in-1 cable in a cleaner and more comfortable way.

Vive Tracker  

The Vive Tracker enables motion tracking for entirely new form factors to be trackable within the VR world, and is the foundation for building a new accessories ecosystem for Vive. At CES, Vive  demonstrated 8 Vive Tracker integrations that showcase the future of VR applications.  Most importantly, the Vive Tracker will integrate with any number of future VR accessories via a simple connection, ensuring developers and consumers will have a single accessory to unlock thousands of new experiences. To foster development of new VR accessories, Vive will give away up to 1,000 Trackers to developers. Application information will be released at a later date.

“To foster the long-term growth of VR, we want to make it even easier for developers to prototype and market more immersive controllers and accessories,” said Daniel O’Brien, GM, US and EMEA, Vive. “The Vive Tracker is the first step in growing an ecosystem of third-party accessories that will change how we interact with virtual experiences and provide consumers and businesses with an unlimited amount of content opportunities.”

The Tracker weighs just under three ounces (85g) and is 99.65mm (Diameter) x 42.27mm (Height). The product will ship in Q2 with pricing announced at a later date.

“We were able to integrate the Vive Tracker into our fire fighting simulator within four hours,” said Dr James Mullins from Deakin University, Australia, creator of FLAIM trainer. “For us, the Vive Tracker eliminates both hard material costs to integrate tracking sensors, but also saves critical development time. Now, we can bring products with full motion control much more quickly to market.”

At CES, Vive showcased a variety of Tracker-enabled accessories, including the first VR camera, multiple rifles built for VR shooters, haptic gloves for VR, and even training applications for Major League Baseball players and professional firefighters.

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