HTC Vive Latest News & Updates: Valve to Simplify Tracking Components to Cut Down HTC Vive Cost

Dec 01, 2016 11:16 PM EST | By Cores Grace Malaay

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  • Is the HTC Vive worth it?
  • Redesigning the Tracking Base Station by removing unnecessary components will reduce HTC Vive cost rapidly.
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Virtual Reality technology is a bit pricey that makes people think twice on trying to explore the VR world. Because of this, Valve has brought good news to VR fans as it is trying to find for alternative construction systems for its SteamVR Tracking Base Stations aiming to reduce HTC Vive cost by removing unnecessary components.

According to Digital Trends, potential innovations can make internal machinery simple without a blow to its performance, trimming down the buy-in value for an HTC Vive unit around $100 or more while the Lighthouse Base Stations are one of the most high-priced components as a requirement for SteamVR Tracking. The SteamVR Tracking needs two Tracking Base Stations to perform, which is a requisite that contributes to the high price value of the HTC Vive.

A Tracking Base Station replacement costs $134 via HTC's online storefront that is possibly the priciest part of the HTC Vive system beyond the headset, reports Road to VR. Ben Jackson, the Valve engineer suggested a penny-pinching solution during the Valve's Steam Dev event.

Jackson said that the Tracking Base Stations currently uses a pair of motors to trace movements and every motor needs its own laser diode and controller driving up the cost of HTC Vive by a considerable margin. He suggested a single-motor solution, which can trim down the hardware production of the Tracking Base Station in half.

Jackson's design shows that a single motor produces a V-shaped laser outline in the VR play section, which simultaneously gathers X and Y axis information without a necessity to add a motor for fine tuning. "What better way to make [the Base Station] lighter, quieter, cheaper and more power-efficient than to chop out half the parts?" he asked.

Triad Semiconductor's Reid Wender said that the possible redesigning of the Tracking Base Stations is a rapid cost reduction. Although Valve has not announced its plans of redesigning the current units, the estimated cost-cutting method can cut the price of HTC Vive down to $665, which is around 17 percent less than its price at the moment.

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