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Affordable head tracking – it is real?


By Calien

So you sit in your cockpit enjoying the amazing view.  And wish it was more intuitive to free look and turn your head.  Well for a very small price you can.  TrackIR is obviously the solution prior to VR headsets.  The VR head set will be similar in its ability to move your view or weapons based on your heads position.  For myself the TrackIR is a hefty $250+ AUD.  Quite an investment for an input device I cannot try before I buy.  Well there is an alternative.

It is a kit version based upon free software.  It is possible to make your own however despite my having the skills as an electrician it was not really needed.   I found a premade model on Ebay pictured below for a measly $39.90 AUD.  That is a massive reduction in price.  The device came with Velcro strips to attach the unit to a headset.  It is a powered IR emitter equivalent to the TrackIR 5 ultra.  Together with an IR modified webcam.  It couples with free software and is if not entirely simple to setup reasonably straight forward.

Free Track hardware

Free Track hardware

The device works really well and I have had some fun relearning how to fly and shoot coupling my X55 Rhino with head tracking.  Star Citizen is as usual a little broken as far as Track IR is concerned.  Since the HUD became part of the helmet visor it has slightly broken head aim with Track items.  It will obviously be fixed as VR and TrackIR will utilise the same in game tools to function.  Patients is the key to any alpha game testing.

However if you feel you want to get into this cool experience I will provide a link to the software guides for Star Citizen below. Along with the EBay seller of the model I tested.  You can buy this one build your own or find an alternative.  The one I tested also works with TrackIR emitter to upgrade a base model to the Ultimate.  With is handy if you found a window made your base model erratic to use.

Follow the Reddit guide and make all mods to filters and curves prior to setting up your tracker.  A handy tip to stop tracking in game at any time  simply press “end” then hit again to reactivate.

The Tracking bug and free look comparison video.



FaceTrackNoIR        Pointtracker 1.1 plugin

EBAY sales link