NaturalPoint TrackIR 4 PRO & TrackClip PRO ReviewMakaveli - February 22, 2007
Price: $179.95 USD (TrackIR) & $39.95 USD (TrackClip)
Introduction:Gamers around the world are always looking for more. More realism in games, more options, more freedom. Could NaturalPoint’s TrackIR head-tracking device be the next Big Thing? Perhaps a stepping stone for more freedom on the gamers’ path to absolute realism? Join us as we take an in-depth look into these unique devices.
NaturalPoint was founded in 1997 as a high quality image tracking and unique computer control device manufacturer. In recent years, the company has released technologies such as this head-tracking unit, which previously have not been available to the general public. They continue to stride for giving the gamers, and ordinary computer users, the opportunity for more freedom.
I was expecting a big box because I thought everything was going to be packaged separately, but the TrackClip PRO and the TrackIR 4 PRO were in the same package. There was absolutely no kind of padding for shipping, which was a disappointment.
At first glance, I thought it was the impossible-to-open type of plastic container, but fortunately, it wasn’t. The front and back part of the plastic popped open easily to expose its contents. The back of the box lists the details of what you can do with these devices.
There was no hard copy of the instruction manual, which is something I always like to read before doing anything.
TrackIR 4 PRO is a head-tracker, which means it records the motion that you make with your head. It sends the signal to the game, which processes it as movement on the screen. It is a view-controller, meaning that you cannot move anything except the head of your character. I was expecting to be able to steer my car while racing, so I was disappointed to find out that it wasn't possible.
The TrackIR is much smaller than I expected, which is a huge plus. The first thing I noticed was how the left side of the feet aren’t connected like the right side is. As I read the manual stored on the CD, I found out why.
The legs are completely adjustable to help you secure it in place. In the image above, you can see how to fold it to hook onto a LCD monitor. The feet are rubber so the device doesn’t slide all over the place.
Here is the TrackClip PRO, which hooks onto your headset. It has three infrared LEDs that help the TrackIR to track more precisely. The TrackClip ensures the user that their movements will be recorded much more efficiently than without the TrackClip. This is an optional add-on to the TrackIR, so you don't have to have it to use the TrackIR.
The TrackClip moves vertically 180 degrees but doesn’t have nearly as much horizontal mobility. If you don’t have the TrackClip, you can still use the TrackIR with the vector clip.
The vector clip has 3 reflective stickers to imitate the TrackClip’s infrared LEDs. You can clip this unit to a hat to use it in place of the TrackClip.