Vive Focus 3: HTC Announces VIVE Wrist Tracker
HTC announces a new wrist tracker that aims to boost the hand tracking quality with the Vive Focus 3 and integrates real objects in virtual reality.
HTC has presented a new tracker at the CES 2022. This tracker is strapped to the wrist and has been specially designed to interact with the Vive Focus 3’s optical hand tracking system. Alternatively, just like the Lighthouse Vive Tracker 3.0, HTC’s new wrist tracker can also be attached to objects whose movements are translated to virtual reality.
The VIVE Wrist Tracker is not only versatile but also accurate and lightweight. You can easily wear them on the wrist or attach them to objects that you can track in 3D space. According to VIVE, the Wrist Tracker is at least 85% smaller than the Focus 3 controller and at 63 grams, at least 50% lighter.
VIVE says the Wrist Tracker is intuitive to use. It has a simple one-button pairing feature that you use to wirelessly connect it to the VIVE Focus 3. The strap is also easy to remove and easy to clean. You will get up to four hours of constant use from the Wrist Tracker. It also has an LED indicator that displays the battery status. The tracker can be charged through a USB connector.
Its positioning and tracking capabilities allows it to do not just hand tracking but also the tracking of elbows and fingertips. It will go as far as predicting the pose when the headset is unable to see the tracker.
The VIVE Wrist Tracker will make it a lot easier to track handheld devices for various usage scenarios including training and sports with the use of things or tools such as a steering wheel. It can also be used for the older setups which will practically convert the 3DoF controllers into 6DoF.
Camera Hand Tracking: The Focus Tracker Now has Improved Covert Tracking
HTC says the Vive Focus 3 can still detect hands thanks to the wrist tracker even if the hands disappear from the camera’s field of view. HTC says this is possible due to the high-frequency IMU data as well as an advanced kinematic model.
— Shen Ye (@shen) January 5, 2022
Additionally, the hand tracking works reliably even when a user’s hands are covering one another. This concealment is one of the common causes of dropouts for purely visual hand-tracking mechanisms such as in the Quest 2.
When the VIVE Wrist Tracker is mounted on an object rather than on the wrist, the Focus 3 cameras will directly track that object. HTC says the tracker is suited for training scenarios where it can be used to track tools. It can also be used in VR arcades or the location-based entertainment centers that are currently rebounding following the pandemic. It is also possible to use the tracker on both the wrist and on an object.
HTC says that location-based entertainment centers (LBEs) can use the tracker to easily add accessories to the experience including various sports equipment like baseball bats, tennis rackets, or weapons in first-person shooter games.
Focus Tracker to Appear Soon
The VIVE Wrist Tracker for Vive Focus 3 is expected to hit US stores in early 2022.
HTC will also publish the 3D CAD of the tracker that will enable users to easily print their bracelets where necessary.
Apart from the tracker, HTC also unveiled a charging case for travel as well as a charger for up to four Focus batteries simultaneously.
Further software improvements include batch configuration and MDM along with the support for 2D Android apps.