Earlier this week, news was released that Valve is working on more tracking headsets. In a Gabe Newell AMA (
+Ask Me Anything) Reddit comment, Valve’s Joe Ludwig posted an update outlining progress licensing its SteamVR Tracking system.
Below is the full comment in response to the questions “Did you expect more hardware manufacturers to consider interest in releasing their own Lighthouse/Steam VR HMD instead of just HTC? Why do you think other companies haven’t (publically at least) gotten on board?”:
500 companies have signed up to use Lighthouse and some of them are making HMDs. A few of them have talked about that, but a bunch more will announce when they’re ready.
As far as we know, everything is in place for any store to support the Vive. As part of your initial setup you would still install Steam to get the drivers, but Steam doesn’t need to be running for the Vive to work.
The controller production line is still going strong and churning out controllers. The next line we’re building is for the base stations we talked about at Dev Days. They’ll start showing up later this year.
Using automation allows us to keep production local, which means our employees can be much more hands-on with the manufacturing process. That works a lot better with how Valve works, so we’ll probably keep doing that going forward.
These tracking headsets and the overall system could be very important to the adoption of VR this year, and the comment indicates additional head-mounted displays compatible with the SteamVR Tracking “lighthouse” technology are in development. The headsets are among 500 companies which signed up to freely use the innovative tracking system, according to Ludwig. In his comment, Ludwig stated they plan to keep the production local which means that a larger quantity of well thought out updates could be in the future of these headsets.