Valve Opens HTC Vive SteamVR 3D Tracking Tech To Third-Party Devs Royalty-Free

Valve has been no stranger to sharing some of its home-brewed technologies, and now that's being extended to VR, a market that the company is very serious about. The company has just decided to release its 3D tracking technology to anyone who wants it, and the best part is: it's royalty-free.

In its press release, Valve's Alan Yates gives some feel-good vibes: "Making this tracking technology available to more partners is an extremely important step in the evolution of virtual reality and 3D tracking. We are very confident that doing so will result in new and innovative experiences for all VR customers." (emphasis ours).

SteamVR Tracking

While Valve has a lot invested in HTC's Vive, the goal here isn't to just to increase its own market share, but improve VR as a whole. Developers that can snag this tech could deploy it in their peripherals and other input devices.

Valve is also going to be making available a development kit that includes a reference device, sensors, and software tools that will help people get up and running.

Here's the gotcha: while the technology is royalty-free, Valve is keeping this exclusive for the time-being. To kick things off, the company is going to have in-person training, and each licensee is required to have at least one person attend, at a cost of ~$3,000 per person. Topics included: designing tracked shapes, simulation tools, generating and optimizing sensor placement, object testing and calibration, SteamVR integration (of course!), troubleshooting, and electrical and mechanical design considerations.

If you're interested in taking advantage of this program, you can head on over to the link below, sign into your Steam account, sign up as a Steam partner, and finally, opt in for a SteamVR Tracking license.