Yesterday finally we got to know the price of the Vive Tracker and all other add-ons Vive revealed at CES! If you forgot what I’m talking about, you can have a look at my wonderful previous post about it or you can go on to refresh your memory.
Basically Vive got lot of hype announcing the Vive Tracker, that is a single sensor that is tracked thanks to SteamVR Lighthouse system and through which you can obtain the position of a single point inside your VR environment with great precision. Tracker is wireless and works thanks to a battery. It streams data via USB (there is a USB dongle you have to put inside your PC ports). Thanks to Vive tracker you can track multiple objects inside your room (you just put a tracker attached to each object) or even the human body (you put trackers on the main joints of your body and obtain all the rest through inverse kinematics).
We were all wondering about the price of this wonderful thing and finally we have an answer: 99$. Honestly I was hoping for something like 50$… 100$ seems quite a big price for me, for having just a single tracked point. But then I thought about two things:
- VR prices are all high, so a high price is quite normal;
- Vive Tracker has not been thought with consumers in mind (it’s more something for makers or for business applications, like VR arcades), so it’s a business product. Business products have usually high price for high quality, since for a company spending 100$ is like for a consumer spending 5$ and what is important for them is reliability. So, a high price of 100$ is perfectly ok.
The impression n.2 is confirmed by the fact that at present time Trackers are sent only to developers and the consumer market will be opened at the end of the year. Talking about developers… Vive is sending 1000 trackers for free to them, after having received more than 2400 requests for the dev kits! (I’ve sent my request, but they didn’t send me one 😦 )
Apart from this, another price was revealed: the Vive Audio Strap, that thing that makes your Vive similar to a Oculus CV1 (because gives your HMD integrated headphones), will be sold for 99$ (wow, a lot of fantasy from Vive guys!). And if you are buying Vive business edition, it will be given to you for free.
Then Vive made another surprise announcement: you can buy Vive hardware using a 0% financing program, paying a little each months for some months. (All details in this Road To VR article) This reminds me an idea my buddy Davide proposed us for hardware of our ImmotionRoom system: since the hardware costs too much, let people buy it paying little each month. Virtual reality has lots of interest, but people still has not the money to buy it: Vive has listened to the market and tried to help ifs potential customers in entering this wonderful world splitting Vive cost even on 24 months! Someone has reminded that something similar is what made the first iPhone sales to skyrocket some years ago. The comparison is a bit generous, but… gives you an idea on how this could be important.
We all hope VR will get more widespread and we hope this kind initiatives will help in obtaining it. As always, Vive has demonstrated another time that it is very open towards developers and ready to listen to the necessities of its market. I really like this attitude and I hope will continue in the remaining times.
(Header image by HTC)