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HTC VIVE introduces its Face-Tracker

HTC VIVE Face-Tracker

The Face-Tracker can capture and reproduce 38 facial movements.

Crédits photos : HTC VIVE

HTC VIVE unveiled the official release of its Face-Tracker last week. Out since 2019 for developers, the sensor is now available for everyone. This device opens up a new road for immersion in virtual reality.

“Express more than words”

The announcement sparked a buzz in the VR/AR community on social networks. HTC VIVE, one of the leading virtual reality suppliers for professionals, is releasing its Face-Tracker. This small item will revolutionise the way virtual reality experiences are rendered, ushering in the era of ultra-realistic avatars.

Virtua reality professionals know hand-tracking, eye-tracking and even full-body tracking quite well. With face-tracking, they have a new opportunity. HTC VIVE Face-Tracker can capture the user’s face: its lips, chin, cheeks, tongue, jaw and teeth. In all, the device is able to track 38 facial movements.

Emotions are accurately reproduces

HTC VIVE Face-Tracker can accurately capture face expressions and therefore human emotions. An almost-zero latency time makes it possible to achieve perfect synchronisation between lip movement and voice. The Face-Tracker could have a potential for educative, medical and creative contents according to HTC VIVE.

HTC VIVE Face-Tracker is compatible with virtual reality headset from the VIVE pro range. The brand recommends to use it with the HTC VIVE Pro Eye headset for a full face-tracking. From March 24, it will be available for purchase at a price of $130, or about €110. The Face-Tracker could be good news and a great step forward for Social VR.

Example of using the HTC VIVE Face-Tracker with an avatar.

Virtual reality experiences ever closer to reality

More and more brands are integrating face-tracking into their virtual reality headsets. This is notably the case for HP with its Reverb G2 Omnicept. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, has also expressed the wish the next Oculus headsets will be equipped with face sensors. “If you’re really excited about social presence you want to make sure the device has all the sensors to really kind of animate realistic avatars so you can communicate well”, he explains.

The search for realisme in virtual reality experiences is becoming the hot topic. It has accelerated with the health crisis, which has caused a sudden and prolonged stop in social relations. Now we meet virtually, as avatars. However, after a year, this practice is showing weaknesses and we are looking for more real-life experiences, such as a concert. HTC VIVE Face-Tracker can enrich social interactions by accurately recreating facial expressions and lip movements. Is virtual reality a solution to this health crisis, which has turned into a social malaise?

About author

Content editor at Laval Virtual. Obsessed with adverbs and punctuation, synonyms and keywords are my daily guides. I hunt innovative use cases about VR/AR and immersive tech.
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