The VR industry was one of the highlights of 2016 and it seems that the craze is pretty much slated to continue this year as well. With more and more companies striving to incorporate VR technology into their devices, VR headsets and accessories are a requisite. HTC entered as the frontrunner to the VR industry about a year ago when the unveiled their HTC Vive premium VR headset at the CES 2016 event. Now. a year later the consumer electronics company has moved forward with significant leaps and bounds as they are striving to take the technology further by adding further convenience and features to their VR device line-up.

The new Vive Tracker from HTC is supposed to let accessory makers easily create VR peripherals that work with the Vive’s laser towers.

At the CES 2017, event in Las Vegas, HTC announced something they called the Vive Tracker — a small attachment that adds motion tracking to any third-party accessory. The Tracker itself measures in at only 85 grammes in weight, with a diameter of 99.65 millimetres, and a height of 42.27mm. At CES in particular, it was shown off in conjunction with a handful of properly equipped accessories such as the world’s first VR camera, numerous VR shooter rifles, haptic gloves, and training apps for both MLB players and firefighters.

“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.”

-Vive general manager Daniel O’Brien.

O’Brien says HTC is giving 1,000 trackers to developers in the first half of 2017, and they’ll go on sale for consumers and businesses in the second quarter, with a price announced closer to launch.  HTC also introduced other VR accessories including the VR headgear that integrated an audio component to provide a more comfortable VR experience. There is also a peripheral that could swap wires that tether the headset to computers, possibly addressing one of the challenges in this kind of VR system.

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