HP Reverb and its successor the Reverb G2 are Windows Mixed Reality (WMR) headsets and like most WMR headsets, they use inside-out tracking. This means that cameras on-board the headset track your position in 3D space. In addition to the cameras, there are also gyros that track your orientation (like mobile phones do), but can’t provide perfect full 6dof tracking.
This tracking method is inferior to the lighthouses system of the Vive and Index where you install “lighthouses” which emit energy in the invisible spectrum that is used for tracking. But this increases the cost quite a fair bit.
How is the tracking for the HP Reverb and G2?
Based on my three months of using the HP Reverb:
- It’s good enough if you just want to play seated games like flight sims or racing sims.
- It’s also good enough if you have not previously spoiled by lighthouse tracking. I used the Vive for 3+ years so I was a bit spoiled by that.
- It’s also perfectly fine if you are willing to turn on the lights and make sure the camera has enough objects that it can use to orient itself.
- Field of view: 114°
- Connectivity Technology: Wired
How to improve HP Reverb Tracking?
Remember that the cameras are used in conjunction with the on-board gyors. So even if you cover the cameras, it will still track you somewhat but just not as well. To get best tracking, you need to help the cameras out.
1. Make sure your play space is well-lit. The cameras can’t function if they can’t see clearly.
2. If you are in a big empty room with just white walls, then the camera will have a harder time figuring out if you are moving. I guess you get where I am going with this? It’s time to get messy!
But on a more serious note, what this means is that having objects that any camera can see clearly will help.
3. Reflective surfaces like mirrors, windows etc. can be bad too. Even massive TV screens may affect tracking. Frankly, I did not have much of an issue with this myself, but it’s something you might want to look into if you are having issues.
These tips apply for all inside-out tracking VR headsets.