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Oculus update paves the way for HTC Vive-style room-scale VR

by Jacob Kleinman | July 25, 2016July 25, 2016 12:45 pm PDT

Oculus is still gearing up to release its Touch controllers, which will help the Facebook-owned firm compete with the HTC Vive. Now it turns out the company is rolling out a new feature that could put the Vive’s room-scale technology to shame.

If you’ve never heard of room-scale, it’s what lets you move around in virtual reality by physically walking around in the real world (within a limited 15-by-15 foot space). HTC Vive pulls this off with a pair of trackers that need to be carefully positioned in the room. The Oculus Rift currently ships with just a single tracker to measure your head movements, but a recent update makes it possible to use four trackers at once. That could mean an even more immersive experience than what the Vive currently offers.

The Oculus update does come with one big drawback, though. RoadtoVR notes that each tracker needs to be connected directly to your main PC via USB, which would make setup extremely complicated. By comparison, the HTC Vive trackers simply need a power source to work.

Thankfully, you won’t need four trackers to use the Oculus Rift or even experience a simplified version of room-scale. The company previously said that its Touch controllers will offer a more limited space of around 5-by-11 feet to walk around, which should be more than enough room for most people. Still, if you’re a diehard VR fan, this four-tracker setup may be too tempting to ignore.


Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...