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Valve Announce Free VR Input System: Lighthouse

Respected videogame developer, publisher and distribution service operator Valve has today announced a further part of their virtual reality (VR) system. In addition to the Steam VR platform and the partnership with HTC, Valve have today announced a new input system codenamed ‘Lighthouse’.

HTC Vive

Lighthouse is a new room scale tracking system and a VR input system. This refers to the ‘base stations’ discussed following HTC’s reveal of the Vive head-mounted display (HMD) this week. The official press release from the company states:

“In order to have a high quality VR experience, you need high resolution, high speed tracking,” said Valve’s Alan Yates. “Lighthouse gives us the ability to do this for an arbitrary number of targets at a low enough BOM cost that it can be incorporated into TVs, monitors, headsets, input devices, or mobile devices.”

Further important information comes in the form of the price: Valve intends to make Lighthouse freely available to any hardware manufacturers interested in the technology.

“Now that we have Lighthouse, we have an important piece of the puzzle for tackling VR input devices,” said Valve’s Joe Ludwig. “The work on the Steam Controller gave us the base to build upon, so now we have touch and motion as integrated parts of the PC gaming experience.”

There has been no talk of a consumer version of Lighthouse, however it would be easy to assume that it would arrive as part of the consumer release of Vive later this year. VRFocus will be getting hands-on with Valve’s VR solution this week and will bring you full details very soon.

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