Valve opens up SteamVR tracking to encourage thirdparty hardware

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first_imgYou could have more choices in VR hardware soon. Valve announced that it is making the SteamVR tracking technology it developed for the HTC Vive available royalty-free to third-parties. That means developers working on their own hardware don’t have to roll their own tracking code—they can just get the finished tracking tech that Valve is already using and integrate it with the device.The tracking technology is what translates your movements in the real world into the game. When you turn your head, for example, the tracking needs to be right there with you to shift in-game objects across the screen. This actually makes them look like they’re stationary in the virtual world. If there’s lag where objects appear to drift along with you when you turn your head, it can cause discomfort or nausea. The same is true of the controllers—the movement in the game needs to match closely what you’re doing with your hands.Developers that take Valve up on its offer will get everything needed to track movement using the Vive base stations—the two laser emitters that you place in the corners of the room that follow your headset and controllers. The set-up plugs into the SteamVR software for easy distribution on the Steam Store, which is really what Valve is interested in. The more hardware options there are available, the more people will get into VR and start buying VR content. Meanwhile, Oculus had to be browbeaten into removing DRM from its games.The first uses of this technology will probably be custom controllers for the Vive, or possibly even standalone devices like drones that would be incorporated into the VR world. Developers interested in making hardware with SteamVR baked in can check Valve’s landing page for more info.last_img

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