Skip to main content

HTC’s new Vive VR Wrist Tracker tracks hands accurately — even when out of sight

There is nothing new about technology companies jumping on bandwagons just to claim a spot in an ongoing trend. This is exactly what we are seeing with the furor around virtual reality (VR) and the metaverse. But there are a handful of companies actually making a noticeable difference to the ecosystem, and HTC’s Vive division is one of them.

Vive offers some of the most popular VR headsets, including the Vive Focus 3 and the more recent and peculiar Vive Flow. At CES 2022, the company announced a new Wrist Tracker that helps track hand gestures and movements accurately without solely relying on time-of-flight cameras in the VR headset.

HTC Vive VR Wrist Tracker
Image used with permission by copyright holder

While most other VR headset brands such as Oculus by Meta (Facebook’s newly institutionalized parent company) are targeting end users, HTC Vive is promoting enterprise use cases. The Vive Focus 3 is also marketed as a VR headset for business, with applications ranging from training medical and emergency response staff to optimizing mechanical designing to learning- and health-related uses. Vive’s newly announced Wrist Tracker augments the uses by capturing more data around hand movements than what existing Vive headsets can capture from the handheld controllers.

A VR headset typically uses time-of-flight or infrared cameras to detect any movement of the handheld controllers, and because of vision-based detection, a user’s hands are only visible when they are in the field of vision for the VR headset. HTC Vive’s solution to this limitation is its Wrist Tracker that can be worn on both hands like a bracelet or a wristwatch. The Vive Wrist Tracker connects wirelessly to the Vive Focus 3 and can be used either along with or in place of handheld controllers. It features an inbuilt gyroscope to detect wrist movements more accurately than the trackers and its biggest benefit lies in the fact that it can work even when it is out of the VR headset’s line of sight.

HTC Vive VR Wrist Tracker
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Vive Wrist Tracker can also be mounted on top of objects like arcade rifles or a firefighting hose to help emergency response teams train in virtual environments instead of solely relying on and learning from firsthand experiences. HTC says the Wrist Tracker combined with the VR headset can result in highly accurate tracking with six degrees of freedom. Needless to say, the accessory can also be quite useful for more common VR-based entertainment scenarios like playing a first-person shooter  game.

HTC has not yet announced details like the price and availability of the Vive Wrist Tracker. It is already working with companies like Axon to improve training of security forces and Flaim on VR-based hazard and emergency response training. The company has also announced a multi-battery charger and a charging case so that users can easily swap out drained batteries for new ones instead of wasting time charging them.

Tushar Mehta
Tushar has a passion for consumer tech and likes to tinker with smartphones, laptops, wearables, smart home devices, and…
How to download watchOS 11 on your Apple Watch
watchOS 10 presented at WWDC 2023.

Like every year, Apple's major software updates come in waves, with the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Mac, and more all getting major new releases at the same time. This is one way Apple manages to keep its ecosystem so tighly integrated, and that's especially true for its most popular wearable.

Hence, this year's exciting new iOS 18 release is accompanied by watchOS 11, which introduces a new Vitals app for tracking important important health metrics over time, Training Load to help you optimize your workouts, and the ability to set more granular goals for your activity rings or even take a day off from closing them.

Read more
This odd phone is for anyone who hates the Galaxy S24 Ultra
A person holding the Unihertz Jelly Max phone.

A new phone has hit crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, and it may be the one for you if you don’t want a big-screen device anymore. It’s the Unihertz Jelly Max, and it has a 5.05-inch screen, making it positively small next to phones like the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max. However, where the Jelly Max keeps the screen small, one of its other dimensions is far from diminutive.

Unihertz is a well-established phone maker better known for its rugged phones and unusual phones like the Titan, which has a physical keyboard below the screen. The Jelly Max is the latest in Unihertz’s Jelly range of small phones, and its claim to fame is that it has 5G connectivity, making it one of the smallest phones available with the feature. However, just because the screen is small, doesn't mean the rest of the phone is similarly tiny.

Read more
A new Google Pixel 9 Pro XL leak has revealed lots of important specs
Leaked render of Google Pixel 9 Pro XL by OnLeaks and MySmartPrice.

We are about three weeks away from Google announcing its new smartphone lineup — the Google Pixel 9 series. As a result, numerous rumors are circulating about these new handsets. Recently, someone posted photos on the XDA Forums that are claimed to be of the Pixel 9 Pro XL. 

According to the leaked photos from user Pourelle, the Pixel 9 Pro XL will have at least 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Until now, no Pixel phone has been shipped with more than 12GB of RAM.

Read more