Will the Vive Tracker transform VR gaming?

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

28 July, 2019
We often take our high-speed broadband connections for granted, but where did it...
25 July, 2019
With faster speeds, less lag and more devices, how could 5G transform the gaming...
28 June, 2019
If you use dating apps, use our tips to secure your match, from creating a great...
5 June, 2019
Here’s the lowdown on exactly what Google Lens is, what it can do for you and how...
31 May, 2019
Done with your old phone? Help the environment out by using it for something completely...
26 May, 2019
As much as we love the hot weather, it can cause your phone to overheat faster. Keep...
20 May, 2019
From AI camera technology to wide-angled selfies, here are our top five tips for...
10 May, 2019
Summer holidays are all about making great memories, so make sure you’ve got the...
8 May, 2019
The Google Pixel 3a is giving you the best of Pixel at a fraction of the price. This...
26 April, 2019
Here's a roundup of some of the best photo-editing apps for stunning puctures and...
18 April, 2019
Thinking of moving over to Apple’s iconic handset? Or just considering a new iPhone...
11 April, 2019
The bokeh effect can make your photos look like they were taken by a pro photographer,...