At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, HTC announced a groundbreaking hand-tracking device for the VIVE Focus 3 virtual reality (VR) headset.
According to the Taiwanese firm, it will debut its hand-tracking wearable in the first quarter of 2022 and will cost roughly £119 GBP.
HTC’s new input device is half the weight of Focus 3 controllers and has an 85 percent smaller form factor than previous Focus 3 inputs.
The lightweight controllers attach to a user’s wrists and its outward-facing cameras on the Focus 3 translate hand movements into game inputs.
Additionally, HTC uses a high-frequency inertial measurement unit (IMU) to predict user movements when their hands leave the tracking area for fluid avatar movements.
HTC will also debut a pair of new accessories that greatly improve Focus 3 functionality, including a charging case and multi-battery charger, but has yet to confirm the price or release date of both.
HTC VIVE Focus 3
The news comes after HTC debuted the VIVE Focus 3, an enterprise-grade VR headset designed for remote communication, collaboration, and design, in June last year.
Originally announced at Vivecon 2021, the HTC VIVE Focus 3 features Qualcomm’s powerful Snapdragon XR2 chipset, a 5K display (2448 × 2448 pixels per eye), a 90Hz refresh rate, and ultra-wide 120-degree field of view.
Currently, customers can purchase the headset for £1,272.00 GBP.
At the same time, HTC debuted the consumer-grade VIVE Pro 2 as a more accessible device available as a full kit for £719 GBP.
HTC also provides a variety of tracking and input add-ons to improve immersion when using HTC PCVR headsets, including:
- VIVE Tracker 3.0: If waiting for HTC’s Wrist Tracker is too much, users can “go beyond controllers” with lightweight trackers on any limb to create accurate in-game avatar movements.
- Facial Tracker: VIVE’s Facial Tracker scans a user’s face to seamlessly translate biometric data into avatar expressions and lip movement.
- VIVE Wireless Adaptor: Compatible with HTC’s VIVE Pro and Cosmos series, this wireless adaptor uses Intel’s WiGig system to provide low-latency PCVR experiences. Groups can also connect up to three HTC headsets to enjoy multiplayer experiences using HTC base stations.
Speaking further on the new tools, Rick Smith, Chief Executive of AXON, a key development partner for the devices, said that few things were more important than “creating a seamless and immersive user experience” than incorporating the Wrist Tracker into his company’s training platform.
“The VIVE Wrist Tracker makes VR training more seamless, more immersive, and thus more effective. Axon was a key development partner for the VIVE Wrist Tracker from concept to prototype to production”
He concluded the device was “key” for allowing accurate object tracking “beyond the capabilities of Hand Tracking alone”, adding the product was an “amazing development” for de-escalation training for officers using handheld tools such as tasers and other devices.