Valve releases SteamVR tracking for free to hardware devs

Licence for tech powering Vive headset on offer royalty-free to those who complete a training programme
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Third-party developers will soon be able to make use of SteamVR’s tracking abilities in their own virtual reality hardware, opening the doors for custom controllers for VR titles.

Valve has announced that it will offer royalty-free licences for the platform to hardware makers who complete an in-person training course. The three-and-a-half day programme costs $3,000 per person, but only one individual per company is required to complete it in order to acquire a licence.

The tracking technology is the same as that used in the HTC Vive headset, and means devices can be tracked in 3D space, both in terms of position and orientation, by using a combination of a base station, sensors and a host – in other words, a PC. Among the potential future uses suggested for the technology by Valve are “a VR golf club or an indoor quad-copter”.

"It's critical to the future of the virtual reality ecosystem to open up the tracking technology to support the growth of a healthy portfolio of products that work together with HTC Vive," commented HTC VR VP Raymond Pao.

"This is an amazing way to compliment the HTC Vive and spur further innovation in VR. We will also offer training in the Asia region in the coming months to support the adoption and licensing of SteamVR tracking. We're thrilled to see the world of tracked devices expanding and growing."

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