Valve have just announced royalty-free licensing of SteamVR tracking for third-party hardware makers, allowing anyone to use the technology without paying licensing fees.
I wonder if the tech being widely available will lead to new entries in our list of the best VR games.
The tracking tech allows developers to build positional tracking into their own devices – from VR golf clubs for a VR to model katanas, there are endless possibilities for the application of the tech.
It is the same tracking technology currently being used in the HTC Vive, so it’s the real deal.
Additionally, in-person training is being offered to the first wave of licensees, to help each device maker become acquainted with the technology. Online training materials and documentation are planned for a future release.
“It’s critical to the future of the Virtual Reality Ecosystem to open up the tracking technology to support the growth of a healthy portfolio of products that work together with HTC VIVE,” said Raymond Pao, HTC VR vice president.
“This is an amazing way to compliment the HTC Vive and spur further innovation in VR. We will also offer training in the Asia region in the coming months to support the adoption and licensing of SteamVR Tracking. We’re thrilled to see the world of tracked devices expanding and growing.”
“Making this tracking technology available to more partners is an extremely important step in the evolution of virtual reality and 3D tracking,” adds Alan Yates, Valve engineer. “We are very confident that doing so will result in new and innovative experiences for all VR customers.”
A hardware development kit including a reference tracked device, sensors, and software tools to help design and build new devices is being made available to each licensee. It contains the following:
Dev kit contents:
- A modular reference tracked object suitable for attaching to prototype HMDs or other devices
- Full complement of EVM circuit boards to enable rapid prototyping of your own tracked object
- 40 individual sensors for building your own tracked object
- Accessories to enable custom prototypes
- Two HTC Vive base stations
- Software toolkit to assist with optimal sensor placement
- Calibration tools for prototyping and manufacturing
- Schematics and layouts for all electronic components
- Mechanical designs for the reference tracked object and accessories
- Datasheets for the sensor ASICs
For more details, head to the official site.