Will the Vive Tracker transform VR gaming?

Feature

HTC’s Vive Tracker can change anything into a controller. Game on…
by
Will the Vive Tracker transform VR gaming?

HTC revealed its new Vive Tracker at CES 2017 recently. It’s a piece of kit that can turn almost anything you can think of into a controller, and it could revolutionise VR.

The Vive Tracker will make the whole VR experience even more immersive and realistic, because you’ll no longer have to rely on using the same fixed controller to do different things. Here are a few examples that HTC came up with to demonstrate what the Vive Tracker can do:

The latest VR gloves

The Manus VR gloves have a Vive Tracker on each glove to track the articulation of your fingers, arms and elbows, giving you the power to take full control of your virtual world. You could be climbing up a mountain one minute, and indulging in a spot of piano-playing the next.

On a more serious note, this is the sort of product that could eventually be used to teach surgeons how to operate on virtual patients, or track the performance of athletes.

Play ball

If you’re playing a VR baseball game, rather than pressing buttons on a controller to swing your bat, wouldn’t it feel more realistic swinging an actual bat?

Of course it would. This kind of thing will perhaps feel familiar to anyone who owned a Nintendo Wii back in the day, and slotted a racket accessory onto the end of the controller to play Wii Tennis. The difference here, of course, is that you could be swinging a baseball bat in your room while wearing a VR headset that obscures your vision. So expect to read lots of onscreen safety advice before you step up to the plate.

Target practice

HTC also showed off a custom rifle for use in ROM: Extraction, a VR shooting game currently available on Vive. Unsurprisingly, the ability to point and shoot at things rather than press buttons on a controller makes for a more immersive gaming experience.

Flaim on

We were especially impressed with this fire-fighting simulator called FLAIM - an actual hose with adjustable levers on it. Using FLAIM, trainee fire fighters can test their accuracy, learn how to change between types of spray, and use nozzles to adjust power. It sounds like it would be a pretty fun game too.

Tracking opportunities

If 2016 was the year that VR came into the mainstream, perhaps 2017 will be the year that accessories are used to take VR games and experiences to the next level. We can see the Vive Tracker really taking off, but just remember – when you’re in a VR world, always be aware of your surroundings.

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

comments powered by Disqus
Virtual reality headsets were everywhere we looked at Mobile World Congress. Is this the year that i
This could be the year that virtual reality finally makes it out to the world at large but what bene
There was a big focus on virtual reality at Mobile World Congress. Let's take a look at two of the f

13 December, 2017
If you're looking to buy a new tablet, we've rounded up some of the best that are...
12 December, 2017
Looking for an affordable smartphone for someone this Christmas? To help you out,...
12 December, 2017
If you're looking to transform your home into a smart home this Christmas, these...
8 December, 2017
We've rounded up our top audio gifts for the audiophile in your life, available to...
8 December, 2017
Do you need a virtual assistant? If you recognise any of these ten tell-tale signs,...

13 December, 2017
If you're looking to buy a new tablet, we've rounded up some of the best that are...
12 December, 2017
Looking for an affordable smartphone for someone this Christmas? To help you out,...
12 December, 2017
If you're looking to transform your home into a smart home this Christmas, these...
8 December, 2017
We've rounded up our top audio gifts for the audiophile in your life, available to...
8 December, 2017
Do you need a virtual assistant? If you recognise any of these ten tell-tale signs,...
7 December, 2017
There are some great TV streaming devices that you can control with your smartphone...
4 December, 2017
Are you thinking about a virtual reality headset for that special tech-lover in your...
1 December, 2017
The best smartphones of the 2017, and the ones you should definitely be thinking...
1 December, 2017
Apple's decision to get rid of the home button was bold, but it's time to embrace...
29 November, 2017
New features are being added to your favourite apps all the time. To make sure you...
24 November, 2017
Mixed Reality combines the virtual world with your own real-life surroundings. Read...
23 November, 2017
Google Lens, the new addition to Google Assistant on Pixel 2 smartphones, is set...