HTC VIVE has showcased a new accessory for the VIVE XR Elite headset, the VIVE Full Face Tracker, bringing immersion to VR, allowing developers to capture natural facial expressions for virtual environments and games.

The VIVE Full Face Tracker is a plug-and-play module that brings face and mouth tracking to VIVE XR Elite through a USB-C connection. It allows users to emote naturally in VR, capturing up to 38 blend shapes across lips, teeth, tongue, cheeks, nose, and chin at a 60Hz tracking rate. This means subtle facial expressions are accurately portrayed and spoken words match facial expressions in real-time.

HTC VIVE global head of product, Shen Ye said, “This is great for everything from having more natural and realistic avatars, through to helping animators, researchers, training scenarios, healthcare and more. In the past, we’ve also seen amazing ways to use eye and face tracking as inputs for games and other experiences.

“We’ve built this using our VIVE Wave platform, with support for OpenXR too, so developing for it is easy. Because of this, anything built for the VIVE Focus 3’s eye and face tracking will work with the new VIVE Full Face Tracker.”

With built-in infrared LEDs, VIVE Full Face Tracker can accurately track eye movements at 120 frames per second. An auto-calibration feature means the tracker can detect interpupillary distance (IPD) and automatically calibrate the headset for viewing comfort and clarity. This allows multiple users to share the same headset without having to manually reset the IPD slider every time.