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Is an outside-in tracked standalone VR system on the roadmap for HTC Vive?

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Hello everyone,

I'll start with the question I am hoping to see answered before introducing myself: Is an outside-in tracked (preferably base station based) standalone VR or AR headmount going to be released in the near future?

I have 3 projects lined up that will immediately make use of such a system. For a long time I thought the HTC Vive Cosmos might take up that role, but it's become apparent now that's not the case.


Some background.

I work at a production company that sells small, medium, and large scale VR experiences to brands, museums, and whoever else wants to buy them. These projects range from $100.000,- to $1.000.000,- (the appetite always seems to stop there). The HTC Vive has always been my preferred VR System vendor because of its tracking system. As a maker of permanent installations, we don't mind a little extra work in the beginning, as long as it remains accurate throughout the years.

Our trademark so far have been VR experiences that accurately line up with the physical world. The walls and furniture in VR always perfectly overlay the walls and furniture in the physical world. It required trickery with the regular Vive, but with the Vive Pro we've been able to do it more professionally by utilizing 3~4 base stations, and continuously repositioning the entire Vive coordinate space (or in our case, SteamVR space) within the virtual scene. This allowed us to overcome some difficulties with intentional drift being introduced when tracking was momentarily lost. This will probably only make sense to people who have been trying to do the same as what we've been doing.

Almost two years ago, we slapped a Leap Motion on the Vive Pro and started pitching (and selling) tangible VR systems. "What you see is what you can touch". We'd create control panels with buttons and levers to use in the VR experience that could be touched and controlled by the users. I'm aware Vive has its own hand tracking now, and we're keen to employ it on our next gig. But things are going well, we're very happy with picking and sticking to HTC Vive, and we want to evolve our experiences going forward.

The next logical step in a VR experience that perfectly lines up with the physical world is to allow users to walk through a space with a VR or AR headset on. We would need to mount many base stations to make it happen, but we're confident we can do it. But that's where we're short on choice for what system to employ. We're fine with the possibilities and limitations of a Vive Focus Plus, but it doesn't allow outside-in tracking. We thought the Cosmos would somehow be standalone, but that proved to be untrue. And we're unsure if the Proton will ever be released, let alone if it will support base station tracking.


So does anyone know if our dream of allowing people to wonder around in a museum with pixel accurate tracking will be made possible by HTC?

Oh yeah, we're not interested in the backpacks. Asking people to wear a helmet is already a pretty big ask. We found that most of them will do it, as long as that's all we ask them to do. Likewise the wireless adapter is a no go. 


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