VR just got a whole lot creepier with the HTC Vive Facial Tracker

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Some facial tracking body horror

(Image credit: HTC)

Not only has HTC just announced its next generation of VR body trackers with the Vive Tracker 3.0, the company is also bringing out a new—and utterly terrifying—Facial Tracker, soon to be hitting the shelves.

A press release from the company notes the next gen body trackers will be “up to 75% increased battery life, 15% reduction in weight, and 33% smaller footprint.” That all equates to more comfort and longer gaming time, which is welcome in any percentage. But perhaps the more intriguing of the two is the “near-zero latency” Facial Tracker, which is able to translate cheek, lip, jaw, teeth, tongue, and chin movements with creepy amounts of accuracy.

Prepare yourselves for some g-mod style body-horrors, people.

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Body and facial tracking from HTC Vive

(Image credit: HTC)

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Body and facial tracking from HTC Vive

(Image credit: HTC)

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Body and facial tracking from HTC Vive

(Image credit: HTC)

Okay, sure facial recognition would be pretty novel as part of a home setup, and kinda funny in VR chat, but where this’ll really impact is with your standard game developer. Devs will have access to better tracking tools for animating character rigs in games. So while you’re flouncing around giggling at your avatars’ mimicry, no doubt this will be in use by many development teams, and should mean faster development cycles, too.

Both the Vive Tracker 3.0 and Vive Facial Tracker come in at $130 (£129) each so, for the full face and body tracking experience, you’re looking at a $260 investment. There are a whole bunch of games that now support body tracking, so you might even manage to get your money’s worth.

I know my friends and I would manage to get a couple of hundred dollars worth of laughs out of it. As well as a fair amount of genuine terror.

Katie is a confessed logophile with a love of metaphor and an insatiable creative urge. She’s also an RPG, sim and survival game enthusiast who harbours an overt disdain for MMOs, un-managed cables and software that doesn’t include a dark mode.