For virtual reality (VR), Valve has opened up the playing field for many smaller developers who have created their own VR software to put it out in the open on Steam, and it’s clear with the amount of releases that come out every day. Now the company has expanded its sharing is caring attitude and has now announced royalty-free licensing of Steam VR Tracking for hardware makers who are not part of Valve.
What this technology does, which is already being used for the HTC Vive, is let hardware developers build technology that can sense orientation and positioning much more accurately. Devs will receive in-person training if they are part of the first wave of licensees, and there will also be online training materials for future release. The training will include topics such as designing tracked shapes, simulation tools, and object testing and calibration.
“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,” said Raymond Pao, HTC VR Vice President, in a press release. “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.”
What Valve is hoping is for developers to use the technology and licensing for input devices such as VR peripherals. But overall, Valve seems to be a strong believer in enabling more developers to strengthen and lengthen the overall VR lifespan. Alan Yates, Valve Engineer, said “Making this tracking technology available to more partners is an extremely important step in the evolution of virtual reality and 3D tracking. We are very confident that doing so will result in new and innovative experiences for all VR customers.”
For the developers who receive the license, they will get a development kit that includes a reference tracked device, sensors, and software tools to help them design new devices. Applications are open for those who wish to get on board with the program, and there is much more in-depth information.
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