VR has been in spotlight for quite some time, some hailing it as the next big thing in Consumer Technology. Many big companies have banked on VR’s hype and went on to make headsets which have seen much success, most notably HTC’s Vive, Sony’s Playstation VR and Facebook’s occulus rift. But still, VR is not something that has seen mass adoption yet and that’s because it still has many glaring issues, for one it’s very expensive and on top of that you need to spend much more on good hardware to have an optimal experience. Range is also an issue, VR is all about immersion, but it’s hard to have that experience when you can only move a few feet.
To fix this issue, HTC engineered and launched base stations, they are like beacons emitting invisible light which enable the Vive headset and controllers track their exact location with accuracy, increasing responsiveness and range. Alvin Wang Graylin HTC Vive’s China president, tweeted that they were able to link upto 16 HTC 2.0 base stations in their lab and set it up in multiple rooms after steam’s new Beta update. Although the Vive can only officially track from 4 base stations, but now it was able to switch between the base stations placed in other rooms, this might not be stable or even feasible right now but Alwin noted that using trackers in every room stabilized the entire setup. This can be a game changer for VR and will greatly increase it’s possibilities, if people are able to use it in multiple rooms or their entire house.
Please note that this is only possible using the HTC base stations 2.0 and the HTC Vive pro. The patch notes on steam do not mention anything about additional base station support, so there’s a possibility that we will see this new feature in a future update being officially released, once the bugs have been ironed out. Since this update is a public release, you can try this yourself, that is if you have a Vive Pro and that many base stations at hand.