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Are Tracking Pucks coming to Oculus? Why is Vive so ahead of the game?

JimmyMcVideoJimmyMcVideo Posts: 15
NerveGear
Having some easy-to-use, easy-to-integrate trackers like the Vive tracker seems highly critical to advancing this medium, in my opinion. 
Is Oculus working on its own tracking puck like this?!  https://www.vive.com/us/vive-tracker/

Virtual reality is currently only halfway to amazing, in my opinion. Sure it LOOKS real and immersive. But does it FEEL that way (touch wise)?  The ability to utilize (hopefully multiple) trackers to match visuals with real world objects seems like it should be an absolute priority in this world.   
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Comments

  • maxpare79maxpare79 Posts: 1,783
    Project 2501
    I don't think so and if they did I don't think we are going to see anymore hardware changes for this gen...And I can't see these puck taking off...People complained about controller fragmentation with gamepad/Touch and VIVE wands...Now you will also have fragmentation of how many parts of your body are tracked, accessories and so on...and it's 99$ per puck...It's cool for commercial use but I don't see it happening in-home
    I am a spacesim/flightsim/racesim enthusiast first :-) I7 [email protected], 16gb RAM/ Asus 1080 Strix Former DK2 Owner/Gear VR owner/CV1
  • Mr.CreepyMr.Creepy Posts: 792
    Neo
    I really look forward to having full body tracking someday, fighting games especially will be amazing.
  • Mr.CreepyMr.Creepy Posts: 792
    Neo
    Zenbane said:
    Mr.Creepy said:
    I really look forward to having full body tracking someday, fighting games especially will be amazing.
    I wanna fight you in VR one day. Cause you do it with so much natural strengths ;)

    I'm looking forward to some Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter type VR games, where legs are tracked too!
    I would make you a believer Zenbane, you'd be just a stepping stone on my path to greatness! :lol:

    Yeah, and I got plenty more lame ass lines where that came from!
  • CrashFuCrashFu Posts: 1,756 Valuable Player
    You say "Vive are ahead of the game",  I say "People are getting frustrated because the hardware they spent $800 on is so lacking. So third party developers take advantage of that by making these expensive add-ons and 'Vive' takes credit for it, while everyone conveniently ignores the fact that when you include all these "crucial add-ons" the Vive system ends up costing DOUBLE what the Rift does, at a time when the majority of tech consumers already think $600 is too much to pay for a VR system".

    Or to put it another way, "The Vive is a joke."

    But in a way, you're right;  Oculus SHOULD make devices that you can attach to random objects to track them in VR.   DIY peripherals, remembering where you set your beer, keeping track of the family cat so you don't trip over it... the possible applications are almost limitless.

    Best of all, while the Vive Pucks have to be big, bulky and expensive because of the Vive's inefficient lighthouse tracking system,  a tracking device for use with the Rift's constellation sensor system literally just has to be able to make IR LEDs blink in a particular sequence.  That means they could be very tiny, like the size of a fit-bit or even just a small velcro-backed strip, and they could be sold for a fraction of what the Vive pucks cost.
    It's hard being the voice of reason when you're surrounded by unreasonable people.
  • Mr.CreepyMr.Creepy Posts: 792
    Neo
    snowdog said:
    No developer in their right mind will support this accessory because it's going to be a niche of a niche
    I disagree, you wont see any games requiring it, but you will see games where it will be usable. There is also a haptic feedback vest (Hardlight VR) coming, which is also a small niche of a niche, and still there are VR games that support it.
  • CrashFuCrashFu Posts: 1,756 Valuable Player
    Developers will support weird peripherals and hardware accessories in addition to offering more accessible play options,  because those weird extra game modes make for a cool bullet-point on "the back of the box" so to speak,  but nobody is going to make a game or app that specifically REQUIRES obscure add-ons like this...

    Except maybe those pretentious game-dev-wannabe college kid types.  You know the ones I mean. Always bragging about how the vive-exclusive game they're working on is "so innovative" but they either just post a few gifs of someone waggling a sword with particle effects on twitter and are never heard from again,  or the game they release just turns out to be some shallow and uninspired physics toybox or shooting gallery type thing.
    It's hard being the voice of reason when you're surrounded by unreasonable people.
  • snowdogsnowdog Posts: 7,480 Valuable Player
    So to get that full body tracking that works the best way possible you need to buy a Vive and 3 Tracking Pucks. That's going to cost you a total of $799 for the Vive and $297 for the Tracking Pucks. $1096 in total.

    And if HTC/Valve ever release their Touch controller clones finger tracked controllers you'll need to spend another (let's be generous and call it $99 for the pair despite the current Vive controllers costing $130-odd EACH) $99 for the controllers and another $99 for the Deluxe strap. So to get a Rift-like experience you'll need to spend $997 instead of $599.  :o

    As for these other add-ons you're looking at around $250 or so for a wireless doobrie and another $220 or so for the foveated rendering thingummybob.

    Nobody in their right mind is going to spend $1096 detailed in that first paragraph because you'll have at best a handful of games that support full body tracking during the next few years.

    And anyone spending the sort of money in the second paragraph would be better off selling their Vive and buying a Rift because for less money you'll be getting a superior headset and (what's probably going to be) superior controllers plus native compatibility with the Oculus Store and a shitload of high quality games for nowt.

    As for the third paragraph above, personally I'm not too keen on sticking a rechargable battery anywhere near my brain box and it's WAAAAAAAY too expensive, and the foveated rendering thingummybob will be great...but it's only a matter of time before someone else comes up with a version for the Rift which may even end up being cheaper.
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  • elbofforelboffor Posts: 2,572 Valuable Player
    The arguments posed in tbis thread are all valid. 
    I will happily go on record saying the vive tracking is a better idea right now. But the fact is its an idea.
    The reality in the tech they use is not sustainable in the actualr market, also its a short term realosation of what vr is and could be.

    Full body tracking is the end goal. I challenge ANYONE to give me a descent counter argument. It is possible via constellation (which lets not forget is a camera system and with a device such as the microsoft kinnect emitting uv dots is actually capable of) without physical hardware on the user to fully track either a peripheral or a person in 3d space. This alone surely proves which is the better system.

    The problem in reality is that vive want to sell more units in the current market, this is a smart move as a business but a shit one for the VR ecosystem.

    Oculus are(were) focussing on the developement of vr. Vives (valves) actions his has led into a fragmentation of the entire market and has stifled vr as a medium.

    Had this gen of vr been pad pc n mouse games and maybe a little bit of standing vs the recent race to do everything at once until the full shebang was realisable i would have been more than happy.

    The reality is vive cooked up a short term creation that did (on ocassion does)  beat the idea of video tracking, the release of hand tracking/3d space has gained the vive the lead in mass consumer adoption.

    I was at the pub earlier, the landlord said he has just got vr(psvr) and couldbt believe how good it was.
    He is itching to go up a level (pcvr) but thinks the vive is better necause it dies roomscale.

    This is purely because of the better social media presence,l. Such as Google, YouTube and even Facebook.

    Im really annoid Facebook dont saturate its boards with oculus news and adds. Thats action alone would bring rift to the masses and it would be the go to platform for vr.

    I still believe oculus have got the tech right and will come out on top, but only time will tell
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  • KillCardKillCard Posts: 1,078
    Wintermute
    edited April 2017
    The only thing that worries me about full-body tracking is how much further it is going to move away from locomotion. You would have to buy, the HMD, The gloves, The trackers for waist/feet .. and then what? Play every game standing still? .. Use Touch Controllers over your gloves anyway? Buy a treadmill on top of all that?

    Then you are going to have to go back to the dev side and do what?.. Support trackers optionally? (how would you even do that if you develop the experience around having them?)  Support Gloves/Controllers Optionally? (How do you make a controller match the usability of the glove? Do you implement "virtual analog sticks" for the gloves?)
    Require that anyone who wants to play have the full set? (HMD + Gloves + Feet/Waist tracking + Treadmill)?

    Either way you are developing an extremely specialised experience that is going to be extremely exclusive to a large portion of the audience. Developing for all of these peripherals is going to be an absolute nightmare. 

    As immersive and cool as the experience might be with full-body tracking, theres a good chance we will have to come back to just having controllers/HMD as the most feasible option. I would love to be wrong here though.
  • KillCardKillCard Posts: 1,078
    Wintermute
    Atmos73 said:
    I remember back in April 2016 when people on these very forums suggested Vive Wands were not the future of VR while sitting with their 'shitty' gamepads as us Vivers were being amazed playing Vanishing Realms and Call of Starseed. Eight months later Touch came along and now no serious Rifter would ever use a gamepad because they realised exactly why people bought the Vive. Its going to be the same people who poo poo the idea of body tracking that poo pooed the Wands. Sad but true.

    But carry on in denial and enjoy your Touch controllers.
    Played "Edge of Nowhere" with my 'shitty' gamepad yesterday. Good game though.
    Yea, I just 100% worlds 3 and 4 in Yooka-Laylee with the VR mod using my "shitty" gamepad.
  • ZenbaneZenbane Posts: 15,134 Valuable Player
    edited May 2017
    I beat Robinson the Journey with my MS Gamepad just a few weeks ago. I still love the Gamepad experience.

    Touch > Gamepad > Vive Wands
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  • RorschachPhoenixRorschachPhoenix Posts: 1,594 Valuable Player
    I think tracking pucks aren't worth it. We don't need more things to buy. We need less things to buy. Otherwise you'll have the same problem like Guitar Hero which you can't play without a special guitar.
    I think in the future the outside tracking will be obsolete and even the controllers. There must be a big all-in-one solution.
    I don't think the Vive approuch aka 'build your headset like you want it to be' (or 'buy this, buy that') is good for consumers or game content. It is good for companys though, because they can afford to upgrate and can do whatever they want. It is good to fullfill very specific needs. And it is also good for R&D and iteration.
    But like I said: Very soon you will come to a point when developers aren't able to sell games anymore (it is difficult how it is right now), because more and more users don't own the required specific, external, additional hardware.
    Excuse my bad english. I speak to you through the google translator. :P
  • ZenbaneZenbane Posts: 15,134 Valuable Player
    edited May 2017
    Completely agree @RorschachPhoenix

    It's odd that HTC is watching their consumers use Revive (even the ones who said they never would) in order to play Oculus software tiles... and so HTC responds by making more Hardware? lol

    The puck's needed to launch with a handful of noteworthy VR experiences, not just a small list of "cool ideas."
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  • RorschachPhoenixRorschachPhoenix Posts: 1,594 Valuable Player
    The thing is: If you need some sort of hardware to play some type of game, it is smart to sell it together. Remember this?

    Problem is: You don't buy your Steam or Oculus VR games in a store. It is different for PS4.
    If HTC/Valve wants to sell a good amount of these tracking pucks, they should sell hardware bundled with software. And they need a good price. 100$ for one tracking puck is very expensive in my opinion.

    "Software sells hardware"
    Excuse my bad english. I speak to you through the google translator. :P
  • Hiro_Protag0nistHiro_Protag0nist Posts: 4,978 Valuable Player
    Atmos73 said:
    I remember back in April 2016 when people on these very forums suggested Vive Wands were not the future of VR while sitting with their 'shitty' gamepads as us Vivers were being amazed playing Vanishing Realms and Call of Starseed. Eight months later Touch came along and now no serious Rifter would ever use a gamepad because they realised exactly why people bought the Vive. Its going to be the same people who poo poo the idea of body tracking that poo pooed the Wands. Sad but true.

    But carry on in denial and enjoy your Touch controllers.
    Damn right Vive wands were not the future of VR - everybody who ever used them knew that, everybody who saw them knew that.

    Touch on the other hand - thing of beauty, they feel sooo good.  

    Poo poo the idea of body tracking?  No, i'll just poo poo these "pucks".

    As we all said 3 or 4 years ago - bad VR is bad, Atmos.  Done correctly, it's fantastic.
  • KillCardKillCard Posts: 1,078
    Wintermute
    edited May 2017
    Atmos73 said:
    There's nothing wrong buying specific controllers for specific games plenty of people buy HOTAS for Elite Dangerous or Steering wheel setups for Racing games.

    People don't buy HOTAS for Elite Dangerous, they buy it for Flight Sims (which there are hundreds available), same applies to Steering Wheels.

    If you were to introduce all of these new peripherals you are talking either:

     A. Only new experiences will use it - ok, after all this work barely getting enough content for VR as is, lets just go back to square one. Barely any content, nobody willing to develop for it and nobody is willing to buy it because nobody is willing to develop for it.

    or

    B: Patch existing experiences so that it implements the new peripherals - because EVERYONE is doing that now with Flat to HMD right? I'm sure with a new VR Peripheral it will be different. /Sarcasm

    Hardware doesnt sell software. Software sells hardware. You need the content before the hardware, plain and simple.
  • KillCardKillCard Posts: 1,078
    Wintermute
    Atmos73 said:
    KillCard said:.

    People don't buy HOTAS for Elite Dangerous, they buy it for Flight Sims (which there are hundreds available), same applies to Steering Wheels.


    I bought HOTAS for Elite Dangerous.
    You still bought it for a flight sim.
  • Hiro_Protag0nistHiro_Protag0nist Posts: 4,978 Valuable Player
    Atmos73 said:
    KillCard said:.

    People don't buy HOTAS for Elite Dangerous, they buy it for Flight Sims (which there are hundreds available), same applies to Steering Wheels.


    I bought HOTAS for Elite Dangerous.
    So did i actually.
  • KillCardKillCard Posts: 1,078
    Wintermute
    edited May 2017
    Atmos73 said:
    KillCard said:
    You still bought it for a flight sim.

    Now you're saying I bought HOTAS for flight sims when I don't own any flight sims, I only own ED. Have you changed your arguement to mean Elite Dangerous is a flight sim which contradicts your previous statement? 
    Elite Dangerous IS a Flight Sim. It classifies as such for every definition of the genre.
     
    Let's break down exactly what I said:

    "People don't buy HOTAS for Elite Dangerous, they buy it for Flight Sims"

    First of all we can examine the meaning of the word "people". While it is literally the plural of "person", used in this context is meant to imply "the average person". I think most "people" would get that. You could also make the argument that since you are an outlier to the case in context, that you are not -in this case- a "person". I will leave that stipulation aside for now.

    Lets examine something a little more important about what I said - the context.

    It was said in reference to the comment about how whether or not it is feasible to develop a peripheral for a single, or small amount of, software. In this case it doesn't actually matter if there ARE people who would buy it just for one program, because MOST would buy it for more than one (again, for which there are hundreds in the case of the HOTAS/Steering Wheel).

    Not to mention that even if only people who bought it for one program bought it, you could still collect the thousands of different people who bought it for over a hundred different "single" programs. Thus making it both feasible and even profitable.
  • CrashFuCrashFu Posts: 1,756 Valuable Player
    Well maybe the usefulness of general-purpose tracking devices will be less about specific app/game peripheral function  (unless, as I said, it is an optional alternative to regular gamepad or motion-control options)   and more about universal functions that work via an overlay in almost any game/app.

    Kinda like how you can get guardian boundaries overlayed inside any VR experience, or how third-party programs like 'V' work in almost anything.   Just using a tracking band to mark the position of something and overlay that positional marker (or a generic 3D model of the type of object)  over the actual game/app...

    But of course, as established, almost nobody is going to pay $100 for that, so Oculus are the only ones that could really sell such an accessory for home use.   Maybe Sony could as well, for PSVR, since I think their system just tracks color-coded lights or something simple like that, right?
    It's hard being the voice of reason when you're surrounded by unreasonable people.
  • RorschachPhoenixRorschachPhoenix Posts: 1,594 Valuable Player
    edited May 2017
    Atmos73 said:
    KillCard said:.

    People don't buy HOTAS for Elite Dangerous, they buy it for Flight Sims (which there are hundreds available), same applies to Steering Wheels.


    I bought HOTAS for Elite Dangerous.
    And that is okay. But you have to agree that a lot of people doesn't buy HOTAS. It is a rather expensive additional piece of hardware that is only usable for very specific type of games. I am not sure, but I think that all the games are also playable without HOTAS which is a very crucial point to keep in mind.

    I do think that VR controllers like Vive Wands or Oculus Touch are a problem in that regard, because for some games you need it. There are now a lot of games that you can't play without the correct controller - a rather expensive additional piece of hardware that you need to buy.

    While a HMD is crucial to experience VR, everything else is not. It may add to the immersion but it also increases the cost and it decreases the amount of people who will buy it. Every additional piece of hardware that comes on top of that will decrease the amount of people who will buy it.

    And while we have a pretty solid standard for all HMDs in the not so far future (I do even think we have a pretty solid standard of the 'good' HMDs today), I do think we will not have a very solid standard for the additional hardware that quickly. And that is bad, because developers can't port their games to other plattforms that easely.

    Another point: If you have hardware that is not usable with other plattforms at all, you can't port the games (which leads again to less users and less hardware and therefore software sales). Wii Controller, Xbox kinect - those hardware parts are dying, because this hardware is bound to a main hardware. You can't use it with other plattforms.

    A TV screen is just a TV screen. It is just a display. That's the first part you need. There are of course deviations but all the displays are good enough to watch movies.
    VR HMDs have to be like TV screens. And controllers have to be like a remote control.
    If you have a bluray player, then you can watch all the movies on your television, because you know: It will display it correctly.
    It would be a huge problem if you have to buy additional hardware to watch different kind of movies. But you don't need a different type of remote controll for action movies. That would be insane, right? It would also be insane if you have to buy a HOTAS to play a game, because that would decrease the amount of people who would buy the game and therefore result in bad sales.

    We have to overcome that phase. And we will. But for now it is R&D phase.
    Excuse my bad english. I speak to you through the google translator. :P
  • Percy1983Percy1983 Posts: 1,410
    Wintermute
    Its great you can buy a puck and have loads off add ons, will be like the wii glory days all over again!
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  • elbofforelboffor Posts: 2,572 Valuable Player
    Atmos73 said:
    KillCard said:.

    People don't buy HOTAS for Elite Dangerous, they buy it for Flight Sims (which there are hundreds available), same applies to Steering Wheels.


    I bought HOTAS for Elite Dangerous.
    So did i actually.
    So did I :/
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  • ZoomieZoomie Posts: 1,777 Valuable Player
    The Tracking pucks (Vive Caltrops) are generic enough that - if widely adopted - they could have all sorts of applications across a large pool of potential games.  Unfortunately they are also too generic to be essential ENOUGH to convince people to buy them.  The gap they fill is simply too small and too poorly defined to generate mass adoption, which means no developer can count on users owning them.  It's the old argument about developing for a fragment of an already small market.  It's business suicide unless you can guarantee a large percentage of your users will own them.  

    A racing wheel or HOTAS adds significantly and in very specific ways to the racing and flight-sim (space-sim) genres.  It doesn't just augment your play, it changes your interaction completely.  It has also been around long enough that developers know a certain percentage of users will employ these controllers.  These games are also playable with a gamepad, which means the genre exists even if people don't have specialized controllers.  That's why you don't typically see a new wheel bundled with every new racing game.

    Dance pads for DDR and plastic guitars for Guitar Hero/Rockband are their own category because their use is even more constrained.  In this case you required specific hardware to play the game, but the gameplay was innovative enough to justify the cost.  These controllers were sold bundled the games in question, and not typically as stand-alone devices.  Yes, plastic guitars were sold on their own for a while as were the games in later generations, but I suggest this was indicative of the massive success of rhythm games as a whole and was not a solid business plan to introduce plastic instruments as a new control medium for gaming platforms.  No one looked at a DDR pad and thought "I want to use that to play Dark Souls!".

    Touch controllers fall somewhere between these two mediums; In some cases they supplant gamepads and in some cases they are specialized controls that allow for entirely new gameplay. Like gamepads, Touch controls have the ability to move between multiple genres but in other cases they open up a new style of input just like a wheel, or a guitar, or the Wii balance board.

    Sadly I think those Vive sensors are in the same category as something like the Wii Balance Board.  It failed spectaculary simply because there was no specific and compelling experience to drive sales.  There is no "killer experience" that requires me to own a Vive Caltrop.  

    The only potential way I can see them succeeding is if they were bundled with a new application or game that had innovative play, not achieveable simply with wands/Touch.  Then the market can start to grow.  
    Selling them seperately is a bit like selling the Wii balance board - you're sure someone could create a cool game with it but you're relying on someone else to generate a killer app for an unproven market segment.
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  • nalex66nalex66 Posts: 5,411 Volunteer Moderator
    I think body tracking is an eventual goal for most VR hardware platforms, but I don't think pucks are the answer. I expect that Oculus will eventually have a camera-based body tracking system. (Didn't they acquire the team that developed Kinect?)

    I'm envisioning a system where we use Touch controllers for precise tracking and input, and a camera-based system (either the same constellation camera that does the device tracking, or an additional 3D vision camera) to do full body tracking with no additional "wearables" required.

    The body tracking may not be as precise as the head and hand tracking, but I don't think it really needs to be. We can live with a little float in our virtual elbows and knees, and the more precise tracking of our heads and hands can probably be used to help fine-tune the body data if necessary.
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  • jayhawkjayhawk Posts: 824
    3Jane
    edited May 2017
    If there was a consumer market for this you can bet Oculus would have something similar. I wouldn't call niche accessories 'ahead of the game'. Ahead of the game would apply more to the base tech itself IMO. As far as tech goes, Oculus is ahead of the game IMO. Far better motion controls for many reasons (even something as seemingly insignificant as battery life). Integrated headphones. List goes on. Vive has always seemed like a rushed consumer product. Sort of a pre-consumer/post dev kit. The real consumer version is on it's way.
  • KillCardKillCard Posts: 1,078
    Wintermute
    edited May 2017
    elboffor said:
    Atmos73 said:
    KillCard said:.

    People don't buy HOTAS for Elite Dangerous, they buy it for Flight Sims (which there are hundreds available), same applies to Steering Wheels.


    I bought HOTAS for Elite Dangerous.
    So did i actually.
    So did I :/
    You guys are missing the point I was trying to make. You didnt buy the HOTAS for "Elite Dangerous", you bought it for a "Flight Sim named Elite: Dangerous".

    i.e. you lucked out that an awesome peripheral for a game you wanted to play existed because it just so happens that it exists within a genre that has been around since the 80's and has had decades of support and MANY iterations of peripherals to follow. Hell you could even argue it had pseudo AR/VR before anything else in the form of Track-IR.

    Thats how much software support that genre has recieved and we had to have TONNES of flight/space sim games before the HOTAS actually became an affordable thing for the average user.

    I still remember playing Spitfire 40 on the Commodore 64 with a 1 button joystick! Thats how long Flight Sims have been around.
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