The Vive Tracker, a ‘puck’-like device designed to attach to objects to track them in VR via the SteamVR Tracking system, went on sale this week after 1,000 units went out to developers earlier this year. One developer aptly demonstrated the tracking performance by juggling a trio of Trackers in VR.

We’ve seen people juggle virtual objects in VR, but what about real objects that are tracked using the SteamVR Tracking system? Thanks to the high-quality tracking performance of the HTC Vive tracker, that’s apparently now a possibility.

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Steve Bowler, co-founder of Cloud Gate Studio, shot a quick video of himself juggling three active Vive Trackers while wearing the Vive headset. Even as the devices are spinning through the air and being occasionally occluded by his hands, they appear to maintain robust tracking the entire time. For juggling of course, it isn’t just accuracy of the objects that’s important, but also the latency.

Bowler must be quite confident in the Vive Tracker’s capability, as that’s $300 worth of equipment being juggled. And while some seasoned jugglers might be able to juggle spheres with their eyes closed or blindfolded, the irregular shape of the Vive Tracker and the way it spins through the air makes it all the more challenging. As we see in the video, it appears Bowler is relying quite heavily on the information he’s seeing through the headset (the location, direction, and speed of the Trackers through the air) to accomplish this task.

For $99 each, the Vive Tracker became openly available for sale this week, though with the accessory ecosystem just getting underway, it’s still at this point recommended only for developers. Later this year HTC is expected to push the device more widely to businesses and consumers.

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Vive Tracker Capabilities Detailed in Developer Documentation

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  • Maxim Chizhov
  • Sponge Bob

    Seriously ??? juggling ???

    wtf needs this other than a few crazy gamers ?

    and why don’t they make them spheres then ???

    spheres are easy to juggle

    they can call them Vive balls or something

    • NooYawker

      Missed the point completely. The juggling was to demonstrate how pin point accurate the tracking is.

      • Sponge Bob

        we know the claimed accuracy of Lighthouse tracking system:
        about 2 mm at 10-15 ft (with 2 properly installed basestations !!!)

        • Paulo Martel

          Claimed.

        • NooYawker

          The video speaks for itself, the tracking is so accurate you can juggle the trackers and controllers. The question you should be asking is, is this possible with oculus? Pretty sure it’s a big NO. So believe what you need, the proof is there before your eyes.

          • Get Schwifty!

            Why is that important to ask? Oculus in a properly working system is more than enough for gaming and regular use… no question Vive tracking is superior, but that doesn’t equate to Oculus being bad.

          • NooYawker

            Because I know what he’s trying to say. That constellation is superior to lighthouses. It’s a silly argument.

          • Sponge Bob

            fact: lighthouse-like tracking DOES NOT scale up at all

            fact: camera-based tracking scales up easily with software

            https://vrtracker.xyz/

            scaling up to larger spaces is much more important than juggling your controllers, well for most normal people

          • NooYawker

            Again, you’re hanging on to some article you read and ignore the real world.
            You’re like that guy that read the spec sheet on a device but ignore real world test that show the device is actually slower.

          • Richard Choi

            you can do this with Oculus touch controllers…. lol

          • Roger Bentley

            Actually u can I did it with the touch controllers and the vive (HARDER ON VIVE CAUSE OF SHAPE THE PUCKS WOULD BE BETTER) I’m afraid to do it with the PS move.

          • Roger Bentley

            Your a fan boy Vive sucker. Get off HTC Vive ball sack obviously the tracking is 100% on vive and 95% on rift but for the price of 1 Vive controller u can buy 2 touches and camera. And before your mention it fucktard i have rift cv1 with 4 cams and tracking is 100%. Also have a psvr complete big boy bundle gear VR and Vive so please don’t both and all were purchased at launch. I’d rather play my steam VR games with touch cause it feels better and Vive only for sword games or tolls.

        • Caven

          Yes, but accuracy and latency are two different things. The juggling shows that the positional accuracy remains even when the objects are in continuous rapid motion, as opposed to merely being accurate while remaining stationary. For instance, 50 milliseconds of latency is enough for an object starting at rest to fall 2.5cm before its position updates in software. If the object is already in motion at the same 50ms latency, it will appear to have fallen 50cm in VR when it has already fallen 75cm in real life. If a juggler tosses items higher than 50 cm, the difference will get even larger. It really doesn’t take much latency to start having a big impact on position reporting, especially once the acceleration of gravity is involved. Being able to keep up with something that requires the level of hand-eye coordination that juggling requires is a big deal.

    • Brad

      SMH….