First revealed at GDC 2023 earlier this year, HTC has now launched its long-awaited inside-out tracking accessory, which is now dubbed the Vive Ultimate Tracker.

Unlike previous Vive Trackers, Vive Ultimate Tracker makes use of inside-out optical tracking instead of SteamVR base stations, making it useful for users of HTC standalones Vive XR Elite and Vive Focus 3. The company says support is also eventually coming to OpenXR/SteamVR based PC VR setups in the near future.

Vive Ultimate Tracker does this by imbedding two wide-FOV cameras to track its own location in 3D space. It also allows users to link up to five trackers per headset for multi-point full-body tracking by attaching two trackers to the elbows, two to the feet, and one to the user’s hips.

Image courtesy HTC

Vive Ultimate Tracker also uses a standard 1/4″-20 UNC mount and has a pogo pin interface, allowing it to attach to a variety of objects, the company says, adding that it’s also slated to release developer documentation and the 3D CAD file publicly so that people can design their own bespoke mounts.

Post-launch, HTC says Vive Ultimate Tracker will work entirely independently with SteamVR, without any headset present, so it can be used to track the movement of people or objects, making it useful for industrial things like equipment and prop-tracking. That’s slated to arrive as a beta in the coming weeks.

HTC’s latest standalone, Vive XR Elite, will also see the launch of a native VRChat app in December which supports Vive Ultimate Tracker.

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Priced at $200, users looking for basic full-body tracking don’t need to spend the full $1,000 though for five trackers however, as HTC is also pitching a three-tracker bundle for $600, which includes the required Vive Wireless Dongle ($39 MSRP). With that setup, you’d attach a tracker to each foot (with supplied straps) and one to your hips.

HTC is offering a few bundles as special deals from now until December 31st. Owners of Vive XR Elite who purchase the $600 Ultimate Tracker 3+1 Kit + TrackStraps Special can get a $100 discount after registering a valid Vive XR Elite serial number, bringing the price to $500. This also includes a Dance Dash download key.

HTC is also bundling Vive XR Elite and Vive Ultimate Tracker for $1,500, which includes VIVE XR Elite headset ($1,000 MSRP), 3 Vive Ultimate Trackers, 1 Wireless Dongle, a Dance Dash download key, and TrackStraps. You can find the deals over at vive.com.

Check out the specs below:

  • In-box items – VIVE Ultimate Tracker, 1/4″-20 UNC screw-in mount (use is optional), 120 cm USB-C to USB-C cable, Documentation (user guide QR code / safety guide / warranty card)
  • Tracking – 6DoF inside-out tracking – Wide-FOV tracking cameras x 2
  • Dimensions – 77 x 58.6 x 27.3 mm
  • Weight – 94 g
  • Battery life – Up to 7 hours
  • Charging time – 2.2 hours on average with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0, 3.2 hours on average with 5V/1A power supply
  • Charging mechanism – USB Type-C, Pogo pins
  • Inputs – Pogo pins x 6, USB Type-C port
  • Connectivity – Proprietary 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz Wi-Fi
  • Compatible devices – Requires VIVE Wireless Dongle to connect to: VIVE XR Elite, VIVE Focus 3 (LBE). Support for other standalone and PC VR headsets is planned

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 4,000 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • ViRGiN

    It does not do any “full body tracking”, no such thing really exists or is supported by any SDKs.

    • VrSLuT

      Yeah, why is the max number that can be used at the same time so low? Whoever gets 9 or more working without IMU side effects is going to make a fortune!

  • Christian Schildwaechter

    I’d expect the main use of these trackers to shift away from full body tracking, more towards some mixed reality applications. For one we now get better body tracking/estimation just from the cameras on HMDs plus smarter software, reducing the need for extra hardware. And the IMU based SlimeVR trackers have become much more reliable over time, also due to improved software, and come at a significantly lower price. Thanks to being open source, you could build a 5/6/7 point full body tracking system yourself for less than one USD 200 HTC tracker, and the first cheap clones from Chinese companies have started to appear.

    Self-contained trackers like those from HTC allow for new types of “controllers” that may be particularly useful with mixed reality. You can attach one to a tennis rack or golf club for a more realistic feeling than waving around a plastic controller with the center of mass located at your hand. Or attach one to a short tube that you point at objects like a flashlight, and thanks to the tracking this virtual flashlight could illuminate both the virtual objects as well as the physical objects you see with passthrough in mixed reality. Or turn a clipboard into a holographic display inside a HMD, to examine the Ikea kitchen furniture you are currently testing before buying with x-ray vision, while standing in your actual kitchen.

    • Zantetsu

      SlimeVR? Was that intentional?

      • Christian Schildwaechter

        From my side yes, as this is the actual product/project name. From their side probably also yes, though I cannot exclude them being extremely drunk when registering the project on the crowdsourcing platform it launched on two years ago, so they might just have been stuck with it later. They still could have renamed the github repository or picked a different domain name than slimevr_dev, but they didn’t. So they either liked the accidental result or it was a deliberate choice from the start.

        I never found an explanation for the somewhat weird name choice,. The most likely theory seems to be that they were looking for something that would grab attention, which is pretty essential for all types of kickstarters. And it sort of works. There are other IMU based FBT systems like mocopi or HaritoraX, and SlimeVR is clearly the most memorable name. It is a good project name according to perceptual psychology, as we are more likely to remember unusual things, but I doubt that Meta or Apple would like the associations the name might trigger to be connected to any of their products.

  • That’s a very interesting toy…