Use the World's Best Virtual Reality Technology, Royalty Free
SteamVR Tracking
Whether you're building a VR golf club or an indoor quad-copter, 3D tracking is the heart of your product. Developed in-house at Valve, SteamVR Tracking is a hardware/software solution that lets your devices know in real time where they are, within a room. Valve is now making SteamVR Tracking fully available to other companies, without licensing fees.
SteamVR Tracking has three main components:
  • 120° multi-axis laser emitter
  • Aside from power, fully self-contained - no cable connection to the host or tracked objects
  • 2 base-stations can be used for 360° coverage
  • Lightweight, low power, low cost ASIC sensors
  • Up to 32 sensors per object for full 360° coverage
  • Software toolkit to calculate optimal sensor placement
  • Built-in 1000Hz IMU for low latency, high resolution tracking
  • Wireless communication with host for cable-free peripherals
  • Integrates 3D positional information from multiple devices. For now, this means a PC.
  • SteamVR API for accurate timing, synchronization, and prediction
  • Compatibility with Steam and access to the full SteamVR catalog
How It Works
The SteamVR Tracking Basestations sweep the room with multiple sync pulses and laser lines, reaching out to about 5 meters. By keeping careful track of the timings between pulses and sweeps, the SteamVR Tracking system uses simple trigonometry to find the location of each sensor to within a fraction of a millimeter. By combining multiple sensors, 2 basestations, as well as adding a high speed IMU (inertial measurement unit), SteamVR also calculates the tracked object's orientation, velocity, and angular velocity, all at an update rate of 1000Hz.

A proven solution - used in the HTC Vive
From prototype in late 2014 to consumer delivery in early 2016, the HTC Vive is the world’s leading virtual reality experience. Built on top of the SteamVR tracking technology, the HTC Vive provides a unique, Room-Scale, 360° VR experience, used by hundreds of developers and hundreds of thousands of gamers world-wide to experience the latest VR games. The SteamVR Tracking component of the HTC Vive has been updated frequently with new features, optimizations, and bug fixes. Throughout the product launch and through innumerable game application updates, it has continued to provide the world’s best VR experience.
Benefits for your product
360° Coverage (2 base stations)
Occlusion-resistant whole-room tracking volumes.
Unified coordinates for multiple tracked objects.
Scalable; single or multi-user multi-object by design.
Sub-millimeter accuracy
Extremely fine interactions supported.
High update rates
250Hz to 1kHz tracking to support a variety of real-time applications.
Low latency
Smooth real-time tracking even under high-acceleration conditions.
Low sensor cost
Low total cost of implementation per tracked device.
Licensee Materials
  • Software toolkit to assist with optimal sensor placement
  • Calibration tools for prototyping and manufacturing
  • Schematics and layouts for all electronic components
  • Mechanical designs for the reference tracked object and accessories
  • Datasheets for the sensor ASICs
I'm ready to get started! What are the next steps?
1. Create a Steam account (or sign into your existing account)

2. Sign up as a Steam partner

3. Sign up as a SteamVR Tracking licensee

4. Install the Steam client

5. Install the SteamVR Tracking HDK (it will appear in your Steam library under "Software")
Now what?
  • Get your hands on development hardware. Tundra Labs can help with that.
  • Design and test your device
  • Manufacture and ship your new product

There is no certification from Valve necessary. Ship the product you want to build, whenever you think it's ready.
What if I have more questions?

You can find answers to many questions in the SteamVR Tracking FAQ. Or post in the forum yourself if your question isn't answered.
SteamVR Optical Technologies

Valve has spent years working closely with LCD and OLED display manufacturers to adapt their technologies to the unique challenges of VR, including low-persistence illumination, fast switching times, and high PPI calibration solutions. While all VR display technologies have inherent artifacts unique to head-mounted usage, Valve provides custom hardware and software manufacturing solutions as part of the SteamVR technology suite to enable high quality visual VR experiences.


Valve has developed custom lenses that work with both LCD and OLED display technologies and is making these lenses available to purchase for use in SteamVR compatible HMDs. These lenses and Valve’s unique calibration and correction software are designed specifically to be paired with several off-the-shelf VR displays to enable the highest quality VR visual experiences. These optical solutions currently support a field of view between 85 and 120 degrees (depending on the display). The lenses, which are designed to support the next generation of room-scale virtual reality, optimize the user’s perceived tracking experience and image sharpness while reducing stray light.

For more information about Valve optical technologies, contact Valve at