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HTC announces an upcoming self tracking tracker

by: John -
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HTC has done some really good improvements on each iteration of their VIVE trackers. I have three of their 3.0 trackers to use for full body tracking. But with the increased usage of inside out tracking instead of using Lighthouses for headsets, there's a need for trackers that also didn't rely on Lighthouses as well.

HTC today announced that they are coming with a self-tracking tracker to fit that need. Smaller than even their 3.0 trackers, these new inside out trackers have two cameras and a processor to calculate its position in space without the need for base stations anymore. That's pretty awesome as this opens up possibilities for many applications.

Unlike say Quest 2 controllers, these will know its position accurately when moved even if you're not looking at them. Also, these should also not suffer being occluded from Lighthouses, making them more accurate than older trackers. It's going to depend on the quality of the cameras, processor, and algorithm to see if these new trackers can really be used for accurate representation of its location in the world. Also, no word on battery life yet of course, but I'm hoping for more than a few hours on this.

You can tie actions to the tracker as there are pogo pins at the bottom to allow for connections with say buttons. So someone could design a controller to these trackers before native controllers with this type of tracking tech comes out.

A quick release system was designed so you can swap these trackers with relative ease and speed. HTC will also provide the files needed to 3D print your own mounts, but there's also the traditional UNC mounting to let you screw them into holders.

If they do work well, I'd love for new controllers to use this tech and we can finally get rid of the the old Lighthouse setup. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy using the Lighthouses for accurate tracking throughout gamespace, but the future is inside out tracking and we need, not only trackers, but controllers to be accurate without relying on being seen by the HMD as well.

I'll be sure to keep an eye on these and look forward to trying them out when they're released. Exciting times for sure and I love seeing improvements in the VR space coming down the pipe.