After Vive announcement of the Tracker (the “Puck”) at current CES, there has been a lot of hype surrounding it. Everyone has started thinking about possible applications, fantasizing about awesome Vive installations with lots of Trackers. I love enthusiasm of VR community.

One thing that people has started thinking about is using Trackers to implement positional tracking for GearVR. So one person could have a positional tracked GearVR with just the simplicity and the little cost of a puck: $50-100. And imagine using this Puck-tracked-GearVR with VRidge and use GearVR as a wireless replacement for the Vive. There are 5 millions Gear VR in this world and even more Cardboard headsets… and having now a simple solution to offer them positional tracking is huge!

But honestly I don’t believe in this. Reasons are:

  • Price. If I have a $5 Cardboard, most probably I don’t want to spend $50-100 to have positional tracking;
  • Target market: Most of GearVR/Cardboard owners are people that use it to watch movies/360 videos and this kind of stuff (I’ve read it on an article some time ago, but I don’t remember where… sorry). This kind of people is not interested in a maker solution that gives them positional tracking (that to watch videos is useless);
  • Portability: GearVR and Cardboard are great because you can take them everywhere. If you force the headset owner to carry with him Lighthouse stations (to have Puck tracking), then everything loses sense;
  • Platform: to have this positional tracking, the user needs to have Lighthouse stations, so basically he/she must have a Vive system. But if he/she already has a Vive system, he doesn’t need GearVR positional tracking (since to have positional tracked VR, he uses his Vive). And to have wireless Vive, there are more performant solutions, like TPCAST device.

Basically, while technically a fantastic option, I don’t think this is an actual solution for positional tracking of Gear VRs or Cardboards. It may be useful in certain contexts (makers installations, exhibitions; to play in local multiplayer between Vive and GearVR; etc…) but I think it will not be a disruptive solution in this sense. And with the upcoming inside-out positional tracking for VR headsets, this is even less interesting.

And you, what is your opinion about the use of Vive Pucks for positional tracker of Gear VR? Share it in the comments!

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