The next generation of nonverbal communication arrives in VR courtesy of HTC VIVE.
Facial expressions are an important part of how we communicate with others face-to-face. Without saying a word, we’re able to express a wide range of subtle emotions, from happiness and despair to anger and fear. Unfortunately, this type of nonverbal communication has been sorely missed within the metaverse.
Cue the VIVE Facial Tracker, a unique peripheral for the HTC VIVE Pro lineup capable of tracking 38 points of movement across your lips, teeth, tongue, chin, and cheeks in real-time.
The VIVE Facial Tracker uses a dual-camera solution featuring a 60Hz tracking rate with a sub-10ms response time and an IR illuminator. This ensures that every subtle movement your lower face makes is captured with a detailed level of accuracy even in darker lighting conditions.
Combine this with the VIVE Pro Eye, and you have a full facial tracking solution perfect for social VR, enterprise training, remote education, and a wide range of other potential use-cases.
Jack Morrow CTO/ Co-Founder at RETìníZE praised the combination of VIVE’s Facial Tracker with the VIVE Pro Eye in a recent case study, saying, “Animotive is a real-time 3D animation production tool that harnesses the power of VR. Users can collaborate remotely to create content for any medium at a fraction of the time and cost. Actors embody their characters and interact directly with other remote actors. Finally, anyone can be an animator. The Vive Pro Eye and VIVE Facial Tracker take performance capture in VR to a whole new level.”
According to HTC, setting up the VIVE Facial Tracker is a quick and easy process. The device is compatible with the entire VIVE Pro series and connects easily to the lower part of your VR headset.
The VIVE Facial Tracker will be available for purchase beginning March 24th for $129.99 via VIVE.com.
In addition to the Facial Tracker, HTC also announced the third iteration of its VIVE Tracker, and there are some significant improvements. Not only are the new trackers 33% smaller and 15% lighter than the OG trackers, but they also featured an improved battery life, allowing for longer, more productive sessions.
A single charge will give you 7 hours of continuous use; that’s a 74% increase in battery life. Despite the smaller, more compact design, the trackers will offer the same sub-millimeter tracking precision and 240-degree FOV tracking as featured in previous models.
Since its introduction, the VIVE Tracker has been used in multiple industries, from entertainment and medicine to workplace training and sports. By reducing the size of the device and improving its battery capacity, HTC has made what was already one of the most popular body trackers on the market even more attractive.
“The VR community has far surpassed our expectations in developing an ever-expanding library of useful and entertaining applications for the VR ecosystem with the VIVE Tracker,” said Dan O’Brien, GM of HTC America in an official press release. “With its smaller design and more efficient energy management, this next generation of the VIVE Tracker will increase the utility and immersion of VR, further enabling the adoption of the technology across industries and use cases.”
The third generation of HTC’s VIVE Tracker is backward compatible with previous generations and uses the same Pogo pin and mounting layout as the original VIVE Tracker. It’s also fully compatible with SteamVR 2.0 and 1.0 tracking and all SteamVR-based headsets.
Like the VIVE Facial Tracker, HTC’s VIVE Tracker (3.0) will also be available for purchase on the VIVE website beginning March 24th for $129.99.
Feature Image Credit: HTC