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Capture Photos In VR With This HTC Vive Accessory

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Share all your amazing digital experiences with the first ever camera to shoot in virtual reality.

The internet has been going bonkers ever since HTC unveiled their most exciting Vive accessory to date at this years CES in Las Vegas, The Vive Tracker. The revolutionary accessory can attach to various real-world items, turning them into trackable VR controllers compatible with the HTC Vive. Put simply this device will be an unbelievable game-changer for developers, allowing them to introducing new VR peripherals to their games and experiences. Well it looks like the device is already proving useful as interactive design & production studio dotdotdash recently unveiled the first-ever camera for capturing photos within virtual reality, the D3-U. It’s powerful, it’s unique and it looks like something straight out of Star Trek.

The incredibly sleek device features a ‘holographic viewport, tangible controls operated by the user’s fingertips (duh), and a lightweight matte black body that fits along nicely with the design of the HTC Vive headset and controllers.

Billy Vinton, Creative Director of dotdotdash, spoke more about the exciting peripheral: “D3-U was developed from special affordances we have mirroring a physical object in virtual space. Inspired by science fiction we considered how transparent screens will be practically used in a photography setting.”

dotdotdot-dash-htc-vive-camera3So how exactly do you demonstrate the massive potential of one of the most exciting new peripherals in development? You build your own VR experience centered entirely around the device, that’s how. Dotdotdash went above and beyond by developing Exoplanet, a gorgeous virtual reality adventure experience that tasks players with capturing photos of a mysterious sci-fi beast using, you guessed it, the D3-U.

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dotdotdot-dash-htc-vive-camera4Narrated by the voice of GM’s popular navigation system On Star, Mary Mac, players embark on a mission to investigate Arche, an elusive creature that inhabits extrasolar planet Kepler-22b. According to the developers, Arche is a ‘mind-bending creature that is visually influenced by audio waveforms.’ In order to fully capture Arche in all its forms, players use multiple photo filters (full-spectrum, x-ray, subatomic, and thermal) which are switchable via the D3-U. To make things even cooler, crystal-clear photos are then captured in real-time and printed as a physical reward. REAL PHOTOS!

This combination of virtual experiences and physical tools is the exact direction this technology needs to head in if we want truly immersive experiences. Hopefully the release of the Vive Tracker will continue allowing developers to experiment with different tangible objects resulting in truly unique and realistic experiences.

About the Scout

Kyle Melnick

Kyle is a writer for VRScout also working in new media production. He's also a part-time bounty hunter.

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