The consensus is that the HTC Vive is currently the only virtual reality technology that can go head-to-head with Oculus Rift. At CES 2017, the device proved this once again after developers unveiled a new tracker that will render all physical real-world objects into the VR world.
How Does The New Vive Controller Work?
First of all, the new VR contraption is simply called Vive Tracker. It is a small and simple affair that can be attached to anything from your underwear to a pinprick (if you can manage to mount it there).
The accessory has all the required tracking points present in a conventional controller. If you head to the HTC Vive booth at CES, you will find that they have an array of household objects such as fire hose, bats and analog toys, which you can use the tracker with. You can see for yourself how the device works in actual practice.
The tracker can also be integrated into third-party controllers and peripherals such as the Vive VR camera developed by a startup called dotdotdash for in-VR photography.
While quite awesome especially when this VR tracker officially rolls out, it could prove dangerous if the crazy crowd begin attaching it to weapons such as knives and real guns. Even the bat itself could seriously harm someone or the entire VR setup especially when the player is engrossed in survival games such as those riddled with zombies.
VR Accessories And Vive Going Wireless
HTC also introduced other VR accessories including the VR head gear 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.
This is probably a hint to what HTC has stated in its CES press conference, that the Vive will go full wireless soon. The company revealed that it is now working with Intel to develop a wireless technology called WiGiG, which is expected to support a high-speed connection within the HTC Vive's setup range.
On VR Innovation
Some disappointed observers are noting that the accessories are merely incremental changes to the HTC Vive showcased at CES 2016, failing to provide any breathtaking innovation as well as workarounds that could lead to the reduction of the Vive's steep price tag. These factors are widely seen as the main challenges why VR technology overall can't yet take off.
There are analysts, however, who seem satisfied at this point.
"It's evolution in the right direction," IDC's Ramon Llamas said in a CNET report. "It's answering some of the needs and demands from a hardware perspective."
There is still no word if HTC will be unveiling the HTC Vive 2 as past rumors indicated. Fans should probably not hold their breath since the company has previously shot the speculation down.