[CES 2022] HTC launches a Wrist Tracker for its Vive Focus 3 virtual reality headset

[CES 2022] HTC launches a Wrist Tracker for its Vive Focus 3 virtual reality headset

HTC is taking advantage of CES 2022 to lift the veil on the Vive Wrist Tracker, a new accessory that is intended for its autonomous Vive Focus 3 headset. Presented on January 6, the Wrist Tracker therefore does not work with SteamVR tags (unlike the standard Vive Tracker). It is equipped with infrared LEDs that are tracked by the helmet cameras, as is the case for the controllers.

A Vive Tracker, but without SteamVR
Although named Wrist Tracker and presented as allowing better tracking of arm and hand movements, the accessory can also be used on objects (weapons, sports equipment, professional tools…) as a classic tracker. It is also equipped with an inertial unit, which allows the system to estimate its position and velocity even when it is out of the field of view of the cameras (for example behind the user’s head).

One of the advantages of this tracker is that it is much more compact (85%) and lightweight (50%) than a Vive Focus 3 controller, weighing only 63 grams. Its autonomy is four hours and it recharges via a USB-C connector. HTC will offer it for sale at the beginning of 2022 at a unit price of 129 euros. It will first be available in the United States before arriving in Europe. The company will make the CAD files available to customers so that they can create their own fastening system by 3D printing.

Aimed at the B2B market
Since the Vive Focus 3 is mainly intended for the B2B market, this accessory is primarily aimed at professional training or entertainment use cases outside the home. It offers the possibility to customers who wish to emancipate themselves from “heavy” tracking systems like SteamVR or even OptiTrack, which require cameras or tags attached to the walls. HTC has been suffering since last year from increased competition in the SteamVR tracking market, especially with the arrival of the Tundra Tracker.

HTC presented two other accessories during the show: a carrying case for the Vive Focus 3 that charges the headphones and controllers when they are stored there and a 120 W charger capable of recharging four batteries at once. Their price and availability date have not been communicated. Finally, several software updates have been announced, including the upcoming compatibility with Wi-Fi 6E (for wireless connection to a PC) and the possibility of using third-party MDM software to manage Vive Focus 3 fleets.

Julian Bergounhoux


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