With so many advances made in VR, it only makes sense to want a device for full-body tracking VR rather than just a VR headset.
However, full-body tracking VR is not as consumer-ready as you might think since there are a lot of issues that need to be addressed first.
This post will explore the different options you have as a consumer for full-body tracking VR and how much it usually costs since the price can vary a lot.
This post will shed light upon:
- What full-body tracking VR or “full-dive VR” is
- Different options for full-body tracking VR
- Limitations of full-body tracking VR
So without further ado, let’s get started.
What is Full-Body Tracking or Full-Dive VR?
Full-body tracking refers to the ability for a VR device to pick up the entirety of your body’s movements so they can be accurately reflected within the game world.
Currently, most VR devices that are commercially available use two controllers that you utilize to simulate your body movement. Many of the movements that you make within the virtual space are still dictated through buttons on the two controllers.
While we’re much closer to immersion in a virtual space, there’s still a long way to go since we don’t move in the virtual space as we do in real-life.
A full-body tracking device that is made for VR changes that. It allows you to utilize your entire body to move around in virtual space.
Controlling a video game with the help of body movement was an idea that first got adopted by mainstream audiences with the Nintendo Wii. While it was nowhere near as accurate as the products of today, it was a step in the right direction.
Users could use their Wii remote in a variety of ways to reflect movement and other actions inside the game.
The full-body VR experience is the ultimate goal for many VR developers.
Every year at gaming events such as E3 or PAX, you’ll always see booths from different VR companies that showcase full-body VR experiences. Devices on such booths include things such as reactive chairs, haptic feedback suits and treadmills.
Full-body tracking suits are much cheaper than equipment such as treadmills, but it still has the potential to offer the same level of immersion. The idea is to have as many sensors as possible on different parts of the tracking suit that can track movement.
Companies such as HTC have developed a great way to reach a middle ground between a full-body tracking suit and two controllers. This is full-body tracking with the help of different external trackers that keep track of different points on your body.
Let’s take a look at this in more detail…
Different Options for Full-Body Tracking VR
It goes without saying that Oculus and HTC are the two leading names when it comes to virtual reality. HTC is the go-to company when it comes to any type of VR related to the PC platform. Oculus is known for its own Oculus platform that has the largest number of VR titles.
You can get the Oculus Quest 2 for as little as $299.
That’s for the headset itself, along with the two controllers. While this offers a fairly immersive experience, it’s not exactly full-body tracking.
For a full-body tracking solution for the Oculus Quest 2, you only have third-party manufacturers that are making solutions for the headset. These third-party solutions can cost you anywhere between an additional $400 to $900.
There’s also promising research occurring where people are taking Microsoft’s old Kinect technology and integrating it with modern drivers to the Oculus Quest 2.
In this case, we may see some much cheaper options for full-body tracking on the Oculus Quest 2 in the future.
The basic model of the HTC Vive Pro 2, along with its controllers and sensors will cost you somewhere in the neighborhood of $1200.
However, unlike the Oculus Quest 2 which only has third-party manufacturers coming up with full-body tracking solutions, HTC has solutions of its own.
The HTC Vive Pro 2 offers Vive trackers that are sold individually for $99.99. You can get as many as you want and obviously, the more trackers you have, the more accurate the tracking will be.
A single tracker can be utilized to track a specific part of your body.
For example, you only have the two trackers that keep track of the two controllers you have in your hands. Then, you can have additional trackers to keep track of your feet movement.
Furthermore, if the VR game that you want to play has weapons in it, you can have another tracker to keep track of your weapon.
Naturally, this solution will depend on how many trackers you get and according to that, it can definitely get fairly expensive. This is especially true since the HTC Vive Pro 2 itself is not really an affordable headset unlike the Oculus Quest 2.
Limitations of Full-Body Tracking VR
As you can see above, the options that you have in the market when it comes to full-body tracking in VR are fairly limited. Not only that, but the options you have are also fairly janky and many of them are quite expensive too.
This is because the technology is simply not there yet.
There’s promising research going on in the fields of AR and VR all over the world and there will definitely come the point where full-body tracking VR is realistic and easily available.
However, that’s really not the case today.
Currently, full-body tracking VR is clunky and not as accurate as we want it to be.
Furthermore, most of the full-body tracking options we have in VR are also quite expensive. They are only available to a small set of consumers.
The places where you see full-body tracking in VR more commonly is in fields of research and development rather than in the entertainment and gaming field.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is VR?
VR is “Virtual Reality” where the user exists in a virtual space and is able to interact with it through different inputs provided to the system with a controller.
What is Full-Dive VR?
Full-dive VR refers to a system of VR that is so realistic and detailed that it can mirror the real world. This includes the way you control yourself to how real the virtual space feels.
Is Full-Body Tracking VR Possible?
Yes, it is, but the technology is currently quite young and still evolving.
While many instances of full-body tracking VR exist, they are still quite janky and not up to par with what we imagine full-body tracking to be.
Should I Get a Full-Body Tracking VR Setup?
If you can afford it and have the space for it, why not?
Is Full-Body Tracking in VR Worth It?
Not currently. It costs too much and there are barely any games that really even support it.
Furthermore, the technology isn’t evolved enough and it’s not accurate enough to really be enjoyable.
So, full-body tracking VR is super expensive and not accurate enough to really be worth the price.
While that may be the case now, it might not be the same a few years from now. With the speed at which the VR industry is making strides, we might have effective full-body tracking VR within the coming years.