HTC has proclaimed a new set of trackers for its Vive virtual reality headsets among them one can capture facial expressions and mouth movements. Vive Pro headset is attached with Vive Facial Tracker worth $129.99 to capture lip, cheek, and jaw movements, the two cameras and an infrared illuminator then translates them into virtual facial expressions. HTC launched the product in global markets and in the US it will be initiated on 24thMarch.
HTC showed an experimental VR facial tracker in 2019, and earlier this week it released the product on Twitter. Some developers, like creators of social space Neos VR, have worked with the tool. Until now, HTC hasn’t confirmed a wide commercial release. The Facial Tracker supports 38 different facial movements, and users can also pair it with the Vive Pro Eye, a Vive Pro variant with built-in eye tracking that could successfully translate most of a user’s face onto an avatar or into a motion capture system.
The HTC modules provide precise tracking for body parts that standard VR headset sensors don’t capture. Several VR social experiences already estimate people’s lip motion based on the sound of their voice. However, the new facial tracker can directly capture face movements, showing expressions like smiles and frowns. Likewise, the VR trackers can be fixed to custom controllers or attached with straps to people’s legs or feet — which are often given as rudimentary animation or not displayed at all in VR.