Considering Rebuying TrackIR - Clip is Deciding Factor

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Knightcrawler
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2014 8:09 pm

Considering Rebuying TrackIR - Clip is Deciding Factor

Post by Knightcrawler » Wed Sep 17, 2014 8:35 pm

Okay so I bought a TrackIR 4 with a TrackClip Pro several years ago. The TrackIR worked decently with the hat clip, but it was a mess with the TrackClip Pro. The "Pro" clip had horrible tracking; it'd jerk around when my head was perfectly still (and yes, I tried it while being very conscious of my movements). It also had a much smaller range of motion. I thought at the time it was because the infrared LEDs were recessed into the little "tubes;" and so if you turned more than a few degrees, the walls of the "tubes" would block light from getting to the TrackIR. I also read recently that the IR LEDs inside the TrackClip Pro emit light very close to the visible spectrum, so it's very common for those wavelength to be in the background.

There's also the problem of its construction. A particular joint would constantly fall apart temporarily from any force greater than its own weight, and eventually it broke permanently (don't remember how).

Needless to say, I was unsatisfied with my purchase that I had been so looking forward to.

And yet after all these years, the TrackClip Pro is essentially the same as it was back then. I don't want to wear a hat, especially since I might be tipping my head down and will then be blocking my view of the screen. Plus I am uncomfortable in hats. I also think the Borg assimilation look of the TrackClip Pro is preferable to wearing a hat indoors.

So... are you guys gonna fix this thing, or what? I want to buy a new unit, but can't stand to spend another $150 on something that won't work well because of something so simple.

Seth Steiling
Posts: 1366
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:29 am
Location: Corvallis, Oregon

Re: Considering Rebuying TrackIR - Clip is Deciding Factor

Post by Seth Steiling » Thu Oct 02, 2014 3:33 pm

Hi Knightcrawler,

I'm really sorry for the very delayed reply to this post. It slipped through the cracks on us somehow.

I'll address your concerns separately:

1) The performance that you're describing doesn't reflect what customers typically experience. (If anything the TCP has a better range of motion and less tracking noise than the standard TrackClip, for nearly everyone that I talk to.) In fact, the way you're describing the performance suggests to me that there was some other, unresolved issue in play. Swapping between the TrackClip and TCP in the software will also change some of the sensor's settings (esoteric "under the hood" types of settings like exposure), so it's possible that you encountered a problem in the settings that just happened to manifest when you used a TrackClip PRO. In any case, I can assure you that your experience was very atypical, and it's not something that you should encounter if you purchased the PRO model again... and if you did, we'd help you fix the root ASAP.

2) Visible light interference isn't an issue for the TrackClip PRO, because we have a pass-filter in place on the front shroud to block this light from the sensor. (Plus, if it was an issue, it would be the same for the TrackClip, as the on-device LEDs that illuminate it are in the same frequency as those in the TCP.) Also, while the recessed mounting of the LEDs might suggest that tracking can be lost at more extreme angles, the LEDs are very wide angle, so the beam width actually covers much more than you would expect. It's rotational range of motion is actually better than the TrackClip!

3) The construction has been improved quite a bit, even though the form factor appears the same. As detailed in this post:
...we have indeed made significant changes to both the materials and underlying structure of the TrackClip PRO—including reinforcements to the joint mentioned in this thread. As a result, the failure rate in the field has gone way down. Part of what seemed like a delay in how we responded to this issue was just us searching for what turned out to be a brutally inconspicuous problem with our original plastics, where they would only fail after being exposed to conditions that only appear during long-duration air shipping. We couldn't easily reproduce those conditions in-house, so it took a while to determine what was wrong, and how to fix it. The new plastics are far more durable when exposed to these extreme conditions, and we've reinforced the plastics underneath to make the unit extra resilient.
On top of these TrackClip PRO-specific considerations, the TrackIR 5 hardware itself is significantly improved compared to TIR4. Both the base sensor resolution and the software processing have been improved, combining to offer a 10x increase in tracking precision. Practically, this means more fluid, more responsive tracking with less jitter and less lag.

Hope this helps!
Marketing Manager
TrackIR | OptiTrack

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