HTC has launched two new accessories for the Vive Pro virtual reality headset. One of them is a tracker that tracks facial expressions and mouth movements, and the other captures body posture. HTC had demonstrated a similar technology back in 2019.
As per a few reports, the face tracker can recognize 38 different facial movements and is compatible with Vive Pro Eye. When compared to the previous generation, the new accessories are 33% smaller in size, but their battery life has increased by 75%.
Although the new accessories may sound good in real life, given that HTC has also been able to reduce its weight, the fact remains that the compatibility of face trackers is still limited. It supports the professional Vive Pro series, but it is not compatible with the newer Vive Cosmos which is mainly focused on the consumer market.
The VR developer, Oliver JT declared that the face tracker does not seem to support the high-end Index VR headset developed by Valve. However, it does not mean that the company will not further work on the face tracker in the future.
The face tracker is priced at $129.99. This could be attached to the Vive Pro, and the two cameras and infrared lighting can record the movement of the face, and convert those movements into virtual Facial expressions.
The product will hit the shelves in the United States on March 24. This new accessory developed by HTC will be a direct competitor of the Tundra Tracker which is supposed to be available this summer and is a small replacement product based on StreamVR.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said earlier this week that its Oculus VR division will prioritize the provision of eye-tracking and expression capture functions in future hardware to bring a more realistic virtual avatar experience.