HTC Vive Increases its Virtual Reality Ecosystem
HTC debuted two new accessories that will be part of its Virtual Reality ecosystem, the Vive Tracker, and the Vive Deluxe Audio Strap, both will be released later this year for consumers.
HTC Prepares for the Vive Tracker and the Vive Deluxe Audio Strap
The Vive Deluxe Audio Strap was designed for a more convenient and comfortable VR experience, it features built-in earphones and a sizing dial if you want to easily adjust the head strap, which now routes the cables in a more comfortable way. The Vive Tracker will allow developers to create more immersive applications thanks to its new peripherals and tracking capabilities.
The new Vive Tracker will allow motion tracking for a whole new range of forms that would be trackable within virtual reality environments. The Vive Tracker opens the way for a new ecosystem of accessories ready to be developed for the Vive. At CES, Vive showed 8 Vive Tracker integrations that represent the future of Virtual Reality apps. Also, the Vive Tracker will be able to seamlessly integrate with any future VR accessory with a simple connection, making sure that both developers and consumers get a single accessory to unlock thousands of new and exciting experiences. In order to promote the development of new VR accessories, Vive will give away 1,000 Vive Trackers to developers.
“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. 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.”
Said Daniel O’Brien, GM, US and EMEA, Vive.
The Vive Tracker weighs less than three ounces (85g) and is 99.65mm (Diameter) x 42.27mm (Height). The product is expected to ship in the second quarter of 2017, the price is still unknown.
“We were able to integrate the Vive Tracker into our firefighting simulator within four hours. 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.”
Said Dr. James Mullins from Deakin University, Australia, creator of FLAIM trainer.
Vive showcased a number of interesting Tracker-enabled accessories, including rifles for VR shooters, a VR camera, haptic gloves, and even training applications for professional firefighters and Major League Baseball players.
Vive Deluxe Audio Strap
The Vive Deluxe Audio Strap features adjustable headphones, enabling players to enjoy 360-degree Virtual Reality audio with even more convenience and comfort. The head strap has integrated headphones and a sizing dial so you can easily adjust the head strap, ensuring a comfortable and tight fit.
“We’ve continuously improved the core Vive experience, making it more comfortable and easier to use. The Deluxe Audio Strap evolves this mission further, offering a seamless audio solution that also fits more comfortably for Vive users.”
The Deluxe Audio Strap will ship to second quarter of 2017, and you will be able to order it on Vive.com. Pricing is still unknown.
Wireless and VR
Vive also announced that its wireless VR adaptors will ship in 2017.
“Our approach to wireless and VR is the same approach that we’ve taken with the Vive – wireless will be open-standard and we look forward to supporting any company that can demonstrate a low-latency solution to wireless VR. We are confident that wireless VR will be a significant contributor to the Vive ecosystem in 2017.”
The company also showed the TPCast, which was developed through the Vive X accelerator program. It features 90 minutes of battery life and 2ms of latency. TPCast will be shipping in Q2 of 2017 and will retail for $249 USD. It has been confirmed that a five-hour XL battery will be available in the future.
“We’re very happy to work closely with VIVE to create a tether-less upgrade kit for the Vive as part of the Vive X program. Wireless VR enabled by TPCast technology will provide a new level of freedom and open up even more immersive experiences to Vive users worldwide.”
Said Michael Liu, CEO TPCast.
What do you think of the HTC Ecosystem? Let us know!