Tundra Tracker, the SteamVR-based tracker in development by Tundra Labs, exploded past its Kickstarter goal in less than 24 hours, securing the company well beyond the $250,000 it initially hoped for back at its late-March launch. The company has now made it well past the $1 million mark with one month remaining in the campaign.

Update (April 28th, 2021): Tundra Tracker previously inched past the $1 million mark on April 10th. In the meantime, Tundra Tracker has managed to push forward, albeit at a slower pace, and secure around $1,175,000 in Kickstarter funds.

Tundra Labs says in a recent update that, due to current issues in the supply chain, it will be limiting sales of trackers during the Kickstarter.

“You may have read about the crushing supply limitations that exist in the electronics industry right now,” says Luke Beno, founder of Tundra Labs. “This means that there is an upper limit to the number of Tundra Trackers that we think can produce by the dates discussed in this campaign.  We have not reached this limit yet but want to be upfront with the community that there does need to be a limit.”

All funding tiers, save the $300 Early Bird bundle, are still available through the campaign, which you can find here.

Update (April 6th, 2021): At the time of this writing, Tundra Labs has secured $932,525, and is rapidly approaching $1M. The campaign still has 52 days to go, so there’s no telling how high it may go.

With the funds, the team has also announced it’s hired long-time VR developer Olivier JT, who will help manage the day-to-day in Europe. Tundra collaborator Jason Leong is also currently traveling to Asia from the company’s Wisconsin base to oversee production of both the developer and production versions of the tracker.

Original Article (March 30th, 2021): Backers of the Tundra Tracker Kickstarter today showed strong demand for a SteamVR Tracking compatible tracker that aims to be smaller and cheaper than the market incumbent, the Vive Tracker.

The initial $250,000 goal was crushed within hours of the Kickstarter campaign’s launch, and as of writing the project has exceeded $600,000. At present, the funds are from some 1,570 individual backers who backed tiers ranging from $42 to $630.

While the vast majority of backers so far have chosen the 3x Tundra Tracker bundle (67%), a surprising number of backers went for the largest 7x Tundra Tracker bundle (17%).

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Ostensibly many users will be using the trackers for body-tracking in VR; with three trackers that typically means adding tracking points to the feet and waist (in addition to tracking of the head and hands provided by a VR headset). Seven trackers can enable even more accurate body-tracking by tracking the movement of feet, knees, elbows, and the waist.

The majority of the product’s tiers include “basic” elastic straps for attaching the trackers to the body, as well as a storage case. The Kickstarter versions of the trackers also include two base plates which offer different mounting options: a 1/4 tripod screw, or a strap loop.

Image courtesy Tundra Labs

Tundra Labs expects the earliest Tundra Trackers to be delivered to ‘early bird’ backers beginning in July, while the remainder are expected in September. The campaign currently doesn’t have any listed stretch goals.

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As the only other SteamVR Tracking tracker on the market, the Tundra Tracker is naturally directly compared to the HTC Vive Tracker 2.0 and recently released Vive Tracker 3.0. The pricing comparison is broken down here:

Tracker Count Tundra Tracker Vive Tracker 2.0 Vive Tracker 3.0
1x $130 $100 $130
3x $300 $300 $390
5x $460 $500 $650
7x $630 $700 $910

For more on how the Tundra Tracker and Vive Tracker compare from a price and feature standpoint, so our previous article.

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  • YouTuber’s rejoice. :p

  • kontis

    I think it was founded in the first minutes. I went to the page quite early and it was already far past the goal. Impressive.

    Great job, Tundra, for noticing that the main use case is FBT and optimizing trackers for this purpose.

    The original Vive tracker was designed as a universal puck for custom devices, so its trade-offs were very suboptimal for FBT. I was saying for years that HTC should have made a version specifically designed for FBT and finally someone else did it!

    The “best and most advanced VR company in the world and the kings of social interactions”, the mighty Facebook, still hasn’t discovered Full Body Tracking tech and how people socialize in VR (oh, the frikkin irony!), so a more ambitious companies have to do it instead. I should say “shame on you, Facebook”, but I’m actually very glad it’s going this way. Open ecosystems for the win!

    • Ad

      I think there are other uses but sticking a tracker on a Wii style racket is not one of them. Sticking them on a phone, dog, other person, that could have some value.

      • Holdup

        No there’s way smaller lighter cheaper rfid chip trackers and collars for dogs, and phones already have built in trackers, just turn on find my iphone or call it.

        • Caven

          Those “alternatives” are useless for seeing other people/objects inside your tracking space while in VR. They’re great for their intended purposes, but those intended purposes have nothing to do with making objects trackable in a VR space.

          • Holdup

            Oh you were talking about being able to see Certain stuff in vr

    • sfmike

      “HTC for making the tracker that moved the tracking industry forward, but they messed up the opportunity to quickly iterate on the product.” HTC seems to mess up a lot and continues to and that has been very bad for the development of VR. I wish they could get their act together but have lost faith.

      • Martha Guy

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  • Ad

    It comes with a few things, straps and such, so it’s a nice compete package. I got three and a SW5.

    I still think Valve should order tens of thousands of these so they can manufacture a bigger order and get it sooner and at a better price. Then Valve can do whatever they want: package them in the index kit, send them to devs to animate their games with, or anything else that will keep SteamVR tracking relevant.

    • mirak

      They prefer that companies can profit themselves of the ecosystem they built, kind of like they hoped for the Steam Machines.

  • Amni3D

    I feel this is destined to do well if they can deliver what they promised.
    Wishing them luck.

  • If only they could also make a kickstarter for cheaper base stations. Those things are so expensive

    • mirak

      Tundra tracker are not much cheaper than the Vive Trackers.

      I think only Valve can make base stations.

      That’s probably why HTC stuck with 1.0 station for the Elite because they are allowed to build them I guess, while for the Vive Pro, the 2.0 are built by Valve.

      • HTC have license for manufacturing steamVR 1.0 tracking base stations.

        Valve retained license for manufacturing steamVR 2.0 tracking base stations, made in partnership with Flex in Buffalo Grove, Illinois USA

        License for building tracked objects like headset and controllers is offered free of charge to Steam developer (free sign-up, no longer requiring mandatory training course with fee).

  • D-_-RAiL

    Great news for content creators that only make VRChat videos.

    • guest

      Yes, but what other apps besides VR Chat can use the 7 trackers?

      • I could use the 7 trackers:

        • guest

          Nice work! Is the following using your app?

          • Nope, but thanks for bringing it to my attention! If this is interactive, it would be awesome, as Wing Chun requires quite accurate physics simulation

          • guest

            Physics simulation has got to be hard even without individual fingers. Have not seen much in your publications on the subject. Now I wonder how much of it is really interactive. I’ll admit I fake gravity a bit with my figures.

          • There are Unity assets like PuppetMaster, which help a lot in character physics (though a lot of parameter tuning is required). It’s all interactive. We had to do some dirty hacks for fingers to be able to grasp an arm or neck. We still have some finetuning and hacking left for making the system more robust and less delicate.

    • Pogu

      NeosVR, VRC, CVR, Devs for games, ETC. It’s not just limited to VRC lol

  • I predicted it in my blog… it was so obvious… all the community was waiting for them!

  • mirak

    Still way to expensive.
    So expensive that it has the side effect of making HTC ridiculous prices look justified.

    • wheeler

      Too expensive for mainstream users but not everything has to be targeted at mainstream. In terms of the applicable market size and cost of materials, you’re getting what you pay for. I’ve seen the cost break downs and Tundra almost certainly has thin margins. I’m thankful there are companies out there that can be bothered to support us and not simply chase the low end

      • Tundra’s pricing is very keen considering their size, and it’s not chasing profit.

        PCVR isn’t inexpensive (including capable PC) but enthusiastic FBT users seem willing to “Pay to play”.

        Agree it’s great we have small companies providing equipment for PCVR, perhaps with this Kickstarter we’ll see more users coming to steamVR tracking?

    • Corellianrogue

      How do they make HTC’s prices look justified when they’re cheaper than HTC’s trackers and only require 1 dongle too? :/

  • AnneLove

    Google basically is as of now paying an awesome charge of 179/hour and most significant thing is each week payout….(o4439)…. Google doesn’t have impediments like age or some PC ability thusly you may endeavor also. I have procured $20K simply in 14 days. Check here what I do…

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  • Kunakai

    I can’t see this going any further to any end than any of the other third party tracking solution out there.

  • patfish

    What if Valve change something on their tracking system with the next update of the index? :-/ …I will wait for that ;-)

    • What do you mean? Valve is releasing pucks? Or are you saying steamvr updates would impact these trackers?

  • JB1968

    It’s cool and all but I personally can’t imagine to use the trackers for my average everyday VR gaming (except in the VR arcades). The only real usage could be for cheap motion capture for devs or artists but I don’t know how big competition is in this field and if the real professionals would still prefer other rigs. So the last possible usage remains just for the social VR people to mess with in VRchat, RECroom and flexing on Youtube etc. but again this hype will last only until the next cool gadget on the horizon appears.
    But maybe I’m wrong(as usually) and there is some hidden catch in this? Feel free to let me know what is the real killer-usage for this thing.

    • asdf

      im thinking i can 3d print a light saber that this mounts onto the tip of and voila i have a cool customizable light saber

      • guest

        iIt would be unstable near the tip unless you had a second one there too…

  • Lucidfeuer

    Just to be clear, you need an external base tracker/lighthouse for this to work or are they standalone?

    Anyways it’s both great and sad at the same time to see that we had to wait 3 years for a start-up to iterate on those ridiculous plucks as HTC should have.

    While I don’t have interests in those (unless they add TENS-like haptics :wink:), it reinsuring seeing start-ups or companies doing great work corporations won’t.