HTC announced today their newest accessories for next generation VR facial and body tracker. Press release reveals the VR body tracker will have a significant 75% battery increase, while being 33% smaller and weights 15% less than its predecessor. This only could mean longer playing time and increase ergonomics and overall comfort.
What's even more exciting is the company's "near-zero latency" facial tracker, the Vive Facial Tracker utilizes dual cameras running at 60 hertz to track cheek, lip, teeth, jaw, tongue, and chin motion with stunning accuracy. The device includes IR illuminator to make sure the area around the mouth maintains highest performance under various lighting conditions.
One of the current obstacles in social VR is the inability to display a person's facial expressions, which is of course extremely important when you are trying to communicate with people and read their body language. With that said, developers can now have better tracking tools for animating and producing realistic avatars in VR. So the next time you pass or fail your next round of Beat Saber, or dodges bullets in SuperHotVR, your friends outside the virtual world will be able to see your simulated facial expressions. However, perhaps due to the current stage of 3D modeling rigging, the unit's accuracy definitely needs more improvement to overcome the uncanny valley.
Both the Vive Facial Track and Vive Tracker 3.0 is priced at $130USD, so to get them both would cost $260 USD. With more and more games supporting body tracking, this might be a good investment for the future of VR gaming.