Tundra Labs celebrated success back in March as Tundra Tracker, the company’s SteamVR-based tracker device, not only exploded past its Kickstarter goal in less than 24 hours, but went on to pass the $1 million mark. It’s proved to be so popular that it’s actually become a victim of its own success, as the company has drastically limited future orders through Kickstarter.

Back in late April, Tundra Labs founder Luke Beno announced that, due to supply limitations caused by ongoing global manufacturing disruptions, the company would need to put an upper limit on the number of Tundra Trackers it could sell. Now the company says it’s reached that limit with a majority of its hardware bundles.

Image courtesy Tundra Labs

Reward tiers featuring Super Wireless (SW) dongles ‘SW3’ and ‘SW7’ have “hit the limits,” Tundra Labs collaborator Jason Leong says in a tweet, leaving only bundles with the ‘SW5’ model available to purchase. The SW USB dongle is used to connect a variable number of trackers to the user’s computer: 3, 5, and 7 trackers respectively.

SteamVR trackers like Tundra Tracker are exclusively used with the SteamVR headset and motion controller tracking standard, which was first created by Valve in partnership with HTC. Like HTC’s Vive Trackers, Tundra Tracker has the ability to track body movement such as the feet, knees, elbows, and the waist, however it’s noteworthy for its small relative size.

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At the time of this writing, the only way to buy multiple Tundra Trackers now is to purchase a single tracker (either $95 without dongle, and $130 with) and then add a second tracker for $89 upon checkout. All other multiple tracker bundles are now sold out.

Many companies have faced similar supply issues throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, which is in large part due to a shortage in chips. Manufacturers of smartphones, cars, graphics cards—essentially anything with a microprocessor—are being affected currently. It’s possible the shortage could last into 2023, so with such uncertainty it makes sense why Tundra Labs wouldn’t put the cart before the horse and take orders it may not be able to fulfill.

Update (10:00 AM ET): A brief explanation was added above to clarify the function of SteamVR trackers in general.

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  • David

    I’m having a very difficult time understanding what this thing actually even does. This article doesn’t explain it, and even their own Kickstarter page fails to adequately explain it. What is this thing, and why should someone buy it?

    • asdf

      its obvious that its just a smaller tracker…. just like the vive ones but smaller….

      • David

        I think it stands to reason that if I don’t know what this tracker does, I also don’t know what the one from Vive does

        • Martin355

          Oh! Then I can explain it. A Vive tracker is pretty much like a Tundra Tracker, but bigger.

    • kontis

      Understandable and you are making a good point.
      It’s a rather niche device that requires also owning other hardware to work, so it’s mostly for people who already know they need it, so that’s probably why it’s poorly explained.

      It’s a tracking device that knows its position and orientation in space, just like a VR headset or VR controllers know. They can be used to track anything, like a custom controller, VR gun, camera, but most people use them attached to legs and waist for Full Body Tracking (like Motion Capture for film and game characters), usually for their avatars in VRChat.

      They can’t be used as standalone devices, they need SteamVR Base stations (also known as Lighthouses) that swipe lasers at them. They are also used by HTC Vive and Valve Index for tracking.

    • Hi David. Thanks for pointing out the logical gap there. I’ve tossed in a bit to clarify Tundra Tracker and SteamVR trackers in general. Thanks again!

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  • Ad

    I would love to see a game support sticking one of these on a gamepad for PSVR style gameplay.

  • TechnoHunter

    Full Body tracking needs to get cheaper before I purchase it.

    • TechPassion

      Should be 100 USD max for all joints trackers. Even 100 USD is a lot for typically unnecessary thing.

    • silvaring

      Price but also ease of use is whats needed. I think the likeliest scenario is going to be a combination of inside out and a front facing depth camera (like the new Azure Kinects released a year or so back). Those Azure units can also be used in groupings of two or more for volumetric video capture for less than $1,000.

  • sfmike

    You would think that Vive would take advantage of the demand and produce their own low cost smaller trackers but Vive continually likes to show how unaware they are of what the VR enthusiast actually wants.

  • brandon9271

    I can’t believe that 5 years after the release of the HTC Vive it’s STILL difficult and expensive to have SteamVR/Lighthouse solution. I really wish there was a package deal that was as affordable as the “Oculus Touch” was. a lighthouse and a few controllers should be 200-300 at the absolute max.

    • TechPassion

      I totally agree with you.

    • Anonmon

      I agree that from a consumer facing price perspective, it’s all way too expensive for what they are. But for as long as the manufacturing tolerances have to be absolutely absurd for the lighthouses to work, they’re going to continue to be stupid expensive.

      The devices that are tracked by Lighthouses though, that all just feels like massive price gouging, in no small part because it’s HTC who have made the most devices tracked with Lighthouses, and they have a problem with overpricing everything in general.

      • brandon9271

        I don’t understand why someone hasn’t made controllers with inside out tracking.. put a few cameras on the Oculus touch controllers and then you wouldn’t have to worry about occlusion or being out of the fov of the headset cameras. Nintendo Wii remotes had cameras how long ago?