Roughly one year after releasing the original Vive Tracker to developers and less than six months after the consumer release, HTC has quietly started to offer an updated Tracker on its website. The new version is officially known as Vive Tracker (2018), HTC confirmed today to Tom’s Hardware, and can be distinguished from the original by a new blue power button.
Vive Trackers are universal tracking devices that can be attached to objects, enabling the objects’ motion to be tracked in VR. Like the original model, the new tracker is mostly black in color, and bundled with a USB cable, power adapter, 2.4GHz dongle, and dongle cradle. Users can expect approximately 4.5 hours of battery life per charge.
Specifications for the new Tracker haven’t been confirmed by HTC, but the model is expected to include support for SteamVR Tracking 2.0 — an enhancement supporting four base stations and larger 33-foot-by-33-foot play areas. The new Vive Pro is the first product with 2.0 support, and Tracker (2018) would be the second.
Notably, while sensors built with the new SteamVR Tracking 2.0 standard will work with 1.0 base stations, older 1.0 sensors — including the original Vive Trackers and Vive headset — will apparently not work with 2.0 base stations. Users and developers have known about the potential for incompatibility since last year, which, along with Tracker’s $99 pricing, could explain why its support in VR games has been limited.
Vive Tracker (2018) can be purchased online from the Vive website today. Like before, each new Tracker sells for $99; several $150 bundles with gun or sports accessories appear to contain the first-generation Trackers rather than the new model.