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HTC is launching a VR wrist tracker for its Vive Focus 3 headset

HTC is launching a VR wrist tracker for its Vive Focus 3 headset

HTC is announcing a new wrist-based controller for its Vive Focus 3 virtual reality headset. The Wireless Vive Wrist Tracker fits like a watch around the user's arm, tracking orientation and positioning from hand to elbow. It's designed to complement the business-focused headset's existing controllers, particularly for simulation and training experiences where body position is important. It's also part of a larger suite of new features HTC revealed at CES, including a 5G-powered VR experience.

The wrist tracker looks a lot like a smaller, lighter and more exclusive version of the Vive tracker device HTC launched in 2017. It includes a strap and a toggle indicating whether the tracker should be on the left or right hand, but unlike the multi-button Vive Focus 3 controller, it's basically a way to wirelessly connect to the headset and transmit motion data. has been designed. Designed without the need for cameras without a headset to view it. (You can even attach it to inanimate objects.) VR training company Flam uses this to make sure people are holding a virtual fire extinguisher in the right position—something you don't necessarily want. You can determine that with the handheld controller — and taser maker Axon apparently will integrate it into the company's VR training system.

Although HTC did not list a price for the tracker, it will launch in the first quarter of 2022. Like the Vive Tracker and the $1,300 Vive Focus 3, it's not designed for consumers, and will be most valuable with experiences designed specifically for the taking. Its benefit. But it's one of the less exotic accessories HTC has developed — a category that includes a sophisticated lip tracking device.

Similarly, HTC announced the launch of a "portable, personalized 5G experience" in partnership with Lumen Technologies. It's an application that runs on the Vive Focus 3, but loads most of the actual data processing on a remote computer and streams it through Lumen to a private 5G system. Mobile VR is a long-standing potential use case for 5G networks because headsets for experiences can require a lot of computational power with low latency – although, so far, this hasn't been transformative in the space.

At CES, the company also announced a charging case and an accessory for charging multiple batteries at a time, aimed at location-based entertainment providers like arcades who want to quickly swap out batteries for multiple headsets. Location-based entertainment providers have used wired HTC headsets for some time, but the Vive Focus 3 promises to be more convenient, especially after a series of software updates last year.

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