HTC announced that the Vive Trackers are back in stock following a short backorder. The company also released a variety of development resources to help developers get accustomed to the Vive Tracker and what they can use it for.
HTC is working hard to ensure that its Vive VR platform continues to grow and gain popularity. One way the company is doing that is to release a steady stream of resources for developers that simplify development and inspire new ideas. In January, the company revealed the Vive Tracker, which simplifies the peripheral design process and expands the Lighthouse tracking solution to almost anything.
In February and March, HTC sent the first 1,000 trackers to developers who pitched impressive ideas (there were far more than 1,000 requests). Then in late March, HTC allowed any registered developer to purchase a tracker, and those sold out within three days. Suffice it to say, there’s sufficient demand for Vive trackers. Now, they're back in stock.
Along with the new batch of hardware, HTC released tutorials and sample project code to help developers get started with their universal tracking device(s).
HTC previously released code for a full-body tracking solution that uses three Vive Trackers (not Cloudgate’s code from Island 359), and now it’s back with project files and tutorials from a handful of its early partners.
Two Bit Circus released a tutorial and the project files for its location-based game, Piñata Party! The game gives developers an example of a physical game played with VR. In Piñata Party!, you must hit a real piñata with tracked objects, such as a baseball bat. You can find the project files for Piñata Party! here, and the code documentation here. For more information about the game, see the developer’s blog post.
HTC also asked Master of Shapes to share what it learned about Mobile Room-Scale tracking. Master of Shapes created a multiplayer experience called Cover Me!! that links a player with a Vive and a player with a smartphone in an asymmetric room-scale game. One player is in VR with the Vive, and another player uses a tracked pistol peripheral with a smartphone attached to it to join the action. Master of Shapes released a detailed guide to help developers create other mobile room-scale experiences using Unreal Engine.
Master of Shapes also experimented with creating a custom peripheral for the Vive Tracker. The company built a 3D printed spray paint can that includes a switch under the spray nozzle that is linked the tracker’s integrated GPIO pins. Master of Shapes wrote a blog post detailing the process it went through to build the spray can, which developers can use a resource to understand what challenges they may face when creating a custom controller.
HTC also released a tool called the Vive Tracker Role Changer, which tricks software that doesn’t recognize the Vive Tracker into thinking the tracker is a Vive controller. The Vive Tracker Role Changer is especially useful if you want to use the tracker for mixed reality, as most games don’t recognize the Vive Tracker as VR camera. The role changer software lets you use a tracker for mixed reality recording. You can find the role changer software on the Viveport community hub.