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Triangular Pixels Strapped A Vive Tracker To A Cat So It Wouldn't Get Kicked

VR hardware designers are doing what they can to ensure that VR is safe for the person in the headset, but what about the creatures you may have running around your house that don’t understand that you can’t see them?

You effectively segregate yourself from your environment, including the people and animals around you, when you put on a VR headset. HTC, Oculus, and OSVR offer perimeter-sensing safety measures to keep you from slamming into walls or tripping over furniture, but those systems don’t warn you if a curious animal wanders into your play space. For that, you’d need some kind of animal tracking system. Fortunately, a solution might not be far off—at least for Vive owners.

HTC recently started to ship Vive Tracker devices to select VR developers who have interesting ideas for its use. Unseen Diplomacy creator Triangular Pixels is one of the lucky developers that received an allocation from the first 1,000 units, and the developer is putting its tracker to use with a pet (and “small child”) tracking solution.

Katie Goode, Triangular Pixels’ Creative Director, took on the VR-tracked pet idea as a side project so she could see her pet cat with her Vive headset on. The project has two facets--the code that makes the solution work, and product development to create a comfortable and safe pet harness for the Vive Tracker. Goode said the early prototype “seems to work great,” but there’s still plenty of work to be done. In a blog post, Goode highlighted the challenges that Triangular Pixels is up against:

“We need to make sure the device can be removed very swiftly from not so patient cats/dogs, and safely come off if it gets really caught – but at the same time, stay on for the average rolling around and sleeping a pet may do. Fortunately, the tracker itself is VERY light, so is perfect for this kind of fabric hacking.”

Triangular Pixels didn’t say when it expects to release its VR-tracked pet solution, but the developer has plenty of time to refine the system, because HTC hasn’t yet set a consumer release date for the Vive Tracker.

  • dark_lord69
    YES!!
    I need one for Oculus to put on my dog and my daughter.
    An audible alert when either one is nearby would be nice as well.
    Reply
  • dstarr3
    After fighting with the cat enough to get him to wear this kind of thing, I'd kind of rather kick him.
    Reply
  • Jeff Fx
    The day I installed my Vive, I wished for this, but it turned out that the problem I feared solved itself.

    Cats aren't stupid. Mine quickly learned to stay out of the VR space if I have my headset on, and she only got gently nudged a couple of times as I played very carefully for fear of stepping on her.

    If I strapped one of these to her, she'd just fight to get it off until she ditched it.
    Reply
  • DookieDraws
    I'm sure the cat really enjoys having that strapped to its back. Prolly wishes they'd put a bell on its tail too! :P
    Reply
  • kittle
    19430164 said:
    Cats aren't stupid. Mine quickly learned to stay out of the VR space if I have my headset on, and she only got gently nudged a couple of times as I played very carefully for fear of stepping on her.

    If I strapped one of these to her, she'd just fight to get it off until she ditched it.
    Your right - cats arent stupid. Mine has long since figured out not to bug me when I have my skype headset on

    I dont have a vive (yet), but I can see my own cat fighting tooth and claw to rip the thing off him. He would probably be more of a danger with this thing strapped on vs learning to stay out of my play space.

    And I suspect most dogs are in the same boat, they will learn where they can and cannot lay.
    Reply
  • cryoburner
    Because if there's one thing cats love, it's wearing vests.

    Now, what I'd like to see would be a VR headset for your cat.
    Reply
  • kcarbotte
    19430217 said:
    I'm sure the cat really enjoys having that strapped to its back. Prolly wishes they'd put a bell on its tail too! :P

    I'm sure it's a better trade-off than getting hoofed while you play Island 359 with foot tracking ;)
    Reply
  • David Dewis
    Step 1. Attach tracker to cat.
    Step 2. Put friend in VR cat game who doesn't know you own a cat
    Step 3. Tell friend to pick up 'Virtual cat'.
    Step 4. Watch friend's mind explode/Freak out/Get face clawed off.
    Reply
  • cryoburner
    19431320 said:
    I'm sure it's a better trade-off than getting hoofed while you play Island 359 with foot tracking ; )

    Another option would be to simply put the cat in a different room, something that wouldn't require any sort of convoluted hardware setup that involves dressing a cat.
    Reply
  • anbello262
    Well, I know of many cats that wouln't have any problem wearing stuff like this, and since this will probably be a product, I guess it will be more and more miniaturized as years come by, so I applaud this. This will be a great invention when it is completely ironed out!
    Reply