HTC announced the Vive Tracker — a small puck that lets third-party companies make motion-tracking VR accessories — last week at CES 2017. And we’re already starting to see some of those projects appear, one of the most interesting being dotdotdash’s D3-U virtual reality camera.
Now, as far as I can tell, the D3-U is just a controller: it doesn’t actually take real-life pictures, but it does offer a tactile object with controls that you can hold in your hand and interact with in VR to take pictures of things in virtual reality. The Vive Tracker accurately tracks where you’re holding the camera, so it knows what in-game images to capture.
The DE-U was shown off with a brief VR demo called “Exoplanet,” in which players are told to capture image data of a mysterious life form discovered on Kepler 22-b, which is all well and good. The virtual nature of the camera means that in addition to simple still photos of the creature, players can use real-time filters, including X-ray and thermal images.
For now, the DE-U is just a proof-of-concept designed to show off what’s possible with HTC’s Vive Tracker, so we don’t know how much it will cost or even whether it will ever get a public release.
But a VR motion tracking camera designed to let you take in-game pictures of a video game with more realism than ever? The entire thing is screaming for a Pokémon Snap game. Seriously, Nintendo. Get on it.