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How much do I turn my head?

Answer : The TrackIR's camera has a great deal of resolution, so a very small amount of your head movement can completely rotate the in-game view.

Specifically, less than a quarter inch of head movement can rotate your view a full 360 degrees. But that may be too fast for some, so the exact amount of motion needed is easily adjustable in the software.

TrackIR is a tool designed to be easily personalized to every unique user. How much you move your head is really up to you!

What do I wear?

Answer : A tiny refletive sticker. We call them "dots".

You can place a dot on your hat, glasses, mic boom, headphones, etc. Anywhere on your head. This dot is all the TrackIR sees, because the dot is made of special infra-red light reflecting material.

We also offer the TrackHat baseball cap, which has the special 3M reflective material built into to the brim (and back strap). (more...)

If you want to utilize the full 3-D capabilities of the new Vector Expansion, you'll need to slip a "Vector Clip" on your baseball cap or headphones. This spring steel clip has 3 dots of a exact size (and distance from each other) built-in, so the TrackIR software can track all of your real world movement and rotation. (more...)
How do I look behind myself?

Answer : Your head movement is amplified!

The amount of head movement needed to rotate the view 360 degrees can be less than a quarter inch (if you set TrackIR to max sensitivity). All TrackIR usage settings are easily adjustable in our software.

You will want to fine tune the experience to what is most comfortable and useful for your game(s).

In other words, since you're turning your head less than an inch away from screen center, the entire screen is always visible.
Will I strain my neck?

Answer : No! We've sold tens of thousands of TrackIR's over the past 4 years and have only received 2 complaints of neck strain, from people who were improperly using the system.

During the 1990s, gamers grew used to hearing about the crippling effects of heavy plastic headsets, and ancient motion tracking devices that required exaggerated body motions. But those clunky devices were only in fashion 10 years ago. That is the distant past of computer innovation!

TrackIR is designed utilize the small subtle head motions you already perform while playing video games, for a new natural form of game input. Solving the strain problems of recent ridiculous VR headsets was one of the reasons we invented the TrackIR in the first place!

How does the view recover when I look at something other than my monitor/game?

Answer : There are "hot keys" which let you turn pointer/cursor movement On and Off, and recenter it, on the fly. Also, if you're playing a game in TrackIR Enhanced mode, the game will always remember where you set the center to be!

Look at the How TrackIR works and software walkthrough for more information on TrackIR Enhanced mode and hot keys.

Can the TrackIR replace my mouse?

Reply : TrackIR is designed to compliment your normal mouse usage, not replace it.

People are accustomed to using their hands to control joysticks and mouse devices. TrackIR doesn't detract from this usage in any way. TrackIR just adds the ability to control your view with your head, independent of joysticks/keys/mouse devices.

For example, the preferred way to play games like MS FlightSim 2004 is to look around your cockpit with the TrackIR (head) and flip the individual toggles and switches with your mouse (hand).

If you need a hands-free mouse, please check our other product line, the SmartNAV3. The SmartNAV3 is geared towards precise cursor control, but can also run any TrackIR software. (TrackIRs cannot run SmartNAV software)

Also keep in mind that we support 3rd party software (which allows for joystick-trick and key-press mods), on our all games page
Could TrackIR follow my eyes instead of my whole head?

Reply : No. Not yet.

NaturalPoint Inc. actually started out as a creator of Eye tracking (or "gaze tracking") systems, but we moved away from developing these systems because of all the insurmountable problems in the approach (key problem : your eyes move constantly), and because we wanted to make products that people could actually afford.

Gaze tracking systems do exist, but they are still very imprecise, require a lot of patience, and cost many thousands of dollars. If the technology finds its way to a reasonable level of quality and ease of use, we'll be sure to reconsider.

Extra Note: Several people have suggested using mirrored contact lenses (instead of dots) for normal TrackIR use, but you don't want to put highly IR-reflective paint in your eye, or risk it flaking off of a contact lens. Plus with the amount of time you spend blinking and looking around, it'd be far more precise to just place a dot on your forehead.
What is the Future of the TrackIR?

Reply : We're exploring using the TrackIR to work with more and more games in new genres, helping mod teams to build innovative support for TrackIR's innovative hardware into their innovative games and experiments, and exploring the possibilities of using TrackIR's with the next generation of console gaming platforms (xbox 360, playstation 3, Nintendo Revolution).

As 2005 unfolds, TrackIR's community of users and breadth of specially supported games will continue to grow dramatically. The idea of controlling your PC games with simple natural motion will become accepted as a truly new and worthwhile option for all PC games.

We're very open to supporting our community of hobbyists, if you'd like to develop for the product yourself. Please look through our developer pages for information about our software development kits.

Extra Note: Radical advances outside of PC gaming will also be occuring thanks to our new separate prouct line : OptiTrack, which will focus more on the motion capture, 3d animation applications, and unique new integration/uses of our specialized tracking hardware.
What does TrackIR Enhanced mean exactly?

Answer : Certain games have been programmed to recognize the TrackIR device and communicate with it directly. In these games, the TrackIR is treated as its own separate input for controlling the game's point of view (separate from "mouse-look" and another other controller). This affords you many benefits, which we delve into on our how it works page.

For a list of TrackIR Enhanced games, check our games section.

What games are currently TrackIR Enhanced?

Answer : The list of games that are officially fully TrackIR Enhanced is maintained on our all games page.

As new titles are released, we will add them to the list and announce it on the forums.

Please keep in mind that many more games are always in the pipeline, but we generally wait to announce them until after they've gone gold (due to the sporadic nature of game release dates, and our desire to check the implementation before officially endorsing the game as a good example of the TrackIR's power).
How can I get [my game] TrackIR Enhanced?

Answer : If you know of a great game that isn't already on our list, but would benefit from TrackIR Enhancement, please :
  • Let us know! Post about it on our forums, or email us directly. If we have already contacted the game's developer (or know that your game will be TrackIR Enhanced soon), we will definitely let you know.

  • Contact the Developer! If we let you know that the game developer's have no plans to offer support for the TrackIR, the best thing you could do is gather a group of fans together and make your wishes known to the developers. If enough fans demand a feature long enough, any sane developer will implement it.
  • Implementing TrackIR SDK in basic form is really very easy for the people who are creating a game's engine. Some have done it perfectly in less than one hour! The real hurdle we have to overcome is convincing the developer that TrackIR is in fact the future of video gaming.
    How do I attach the Vector clip to a hat?

    Reply : The front 2 feet of the clip should hook under the brim of the hat.

    Slide the Vector clip onto the hat so that the tension created by the feet and the middle brace hold it on the brim of the cap.

    The three reflective strips should be facing away from your face (they must face the TrackIR).
    Where should I place the TrackIR?

    Reply : Ideally, the TrackIR should be placed on top of your monitor, horizontally level with the TrackHat. For use with Vector, its best to have the camera directly in front of the hat, not off to one side.

    There is some flexibility in the height. The TrackIR can be several inches higher than your Vector Clip and still function perfectly. Just tilt the camera so it is pointing toward the Vector clip. If the TrackIR is placed more than a foot higher than the Vector Clip, you may notice a large amplification of motion in certain directions.

    If the TrackIR is placed more than a foot lower than the Vector Clip, your hat's brim may obscure the dots when you look in certain directions.

    The ideal distance from the Vector clip to camera is about 2 to 4 feet. This gives the camera enough room to track Vector as you move your head.
    Do I need to cover the TrackHat's built-in reflector?

    Reply : It is not mandatory to cover the reflective area on the hat.

    The system is designed to pick out the 3 dots on the Vector clip and track them. Some people have found that covering the dot helps. At extreme head angles one of the Vector Clip's reflectors may appear to have the exact same surface area as the Hat's built in reflector, which can cause a split second jump. But this is very rare.
    What is 6DOF (vs. 2DOF)?

    Reply : 6DOF stands for 6 degrees of freedom, and refers to the six motions you can perform in any 3-D space (with Vector Expansion, for example).
  • X-axis : rotation
  • X-axis : translation
  • Y-axis : rotation
  • Y-axis : translation
  • Z-axis : rotation
  • Z-axis : translation
  • Rotation about the 3 axes produces : yaw (y axis), pitch (x axis) and roll (z axis). Translation (movement) along the 3 axes allows you to lean, shrug, zoom, etc. You can perform all of these movements at the same time!

    Extra Note : 2 Degrees of Freedom is used to describe the TrackIR's basic ability to rotate the view on the x and y axis.
    What games support 6DOF?

    Reply : With Vector Expansion, you can input 6DOF control for any game. But very few developers have chosen to support all 6 degrees of freedom so far.

    As of May 15, 2005 - the following games support true full 6DOF control:
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004
  • Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator 3
  • Aces High II (version 2.01 patch 6 required)
  • GTR
  • NASCAR Sim Racing
  • Silent Wings
  • Many more games support extra 3-D view control that is only possible with vector Expansion (from 3DOF to 5DOF). The exact degrees of Freedom that a developer has supported is noted on our All Games Page
    How does Vector help me play 2DOF games?

    Reply : The single dot tracking method previously used in TrackIR systems only provided information for 2 dimensions (x and y). Because of this, the system could not tell the difference between rotation and translation.

    For example, if you leaned left and right the system thought you were turning your head. The TrackIR's new Vector Expansion allows the system to differentiate between any form of rotation and translation (movement). Now moving side to side is not detected as head turning. The ONLY way to rotate the view is to actually turn your head. The overall experience is more natural, and feels less sensitive to unwanted movement.

    Current TrackIR Enhanced games that only support 2DOF view control will seamlessly integrate with Vector Expansion. Yaw and pitch will still work with these titles, and will be much easier to control for new users.
    Does IL-2 (Pacific Fighters, Forgotten Battles, ACE) support 6DOF or 2DOF?

    Reply : The IL-2 based games only support 2DOF, and the developer has no plans (yet) to retrofit them to support 6DOF.

    Vector Expansion will still work with these great games (making them even easier to control), but you will only see yaw and pitch.

    This is due to the way that the cockpits are presented by the game's engine. If you were allowed to move freely in 3-D space, the cockpits would break. The developers have chosen not to go back and make all the changes necessary to implement 6DOF for these titles, but does promise to support 6DOF in future titles they will release in 2005.
    How do I save a profile?

    Reply : Profile changes are automatically saved when you press the OK button of the profile page.
    Can I use the same profiles that I used with version 3.x?

    Reply : No. Profiles are now saved as .XML files and are not compatible with earlier versions.

    Also note : Profiles from earlier software versions, with the .TIR extension, will not be recognized by version 4.x software.
    Why is there no check box for FS2004 during the install. Why is the dll not installed?

    Reply : FS2004 has been implemented in a different way and no longer requires the dll interface to be installed into the modules folder.
    Can I run 3.x and 4.x software at the same time? (please read if you've implemented a registry fix!)

    Reply : There is a special step you can take when installing version 4.x software, so that you don't write over the version 3.x software.
  • Start to install the 4.x software without un-installing version 3.x first.
  • When prompted during the software install, uncheck the box for the USB driver.
  • Both versions of software will now be available.
    What if I've already un-installed version 3.x software (and it's registry fixes)?

    Reply :
  • Un-install all versions of the software starting with version 4.x.
  • Install version 3.x software. Ignore the "Unable to Find Driver" error message and continue with installation.
  • Carry out the registry fix as per the initial instructions, (if these are no longer available contact NaturalPoint support and ask for Wayne).
  • After the install ensure that version 3.x is working correctly.
  • Install the 4.x software without un-installing version 3.x.
  • When prompted during the software install, uncheck the box for the USB driver. Both versions of software will now be available.
  • Why isn't my discount / coupon working?

    Reply : If you are trying to apply a discount coupon, but it refuses to show up in your shopping cart, please make sure that you have cookies and javascript enabled in your browser.

    We have spent a great deal of time to explain all the possible variations of this process in our Online Store Help web page.

    Alternately, some of our web discounts have expiration dates, so you may want to revisit the page which initially applied your coupon to make sure it hasn't expired. (but don't reapply the coupon unless you delete all items from your cart. Applying the coupon multiple times may add the same items to your cart multiple times, but only apply the discount once!)

    If you still can't resolve this issue, please email us, or call us toll free* at 1.888.865.5535 between 9am and 5pm PST.

    *- This toll free number has been temporarily disabled for calls from Florida.
    Why does it take so long to verify my Credit Card?

    Reply : Your credit card information is being processed by a third party secure server site, which may be subject to higher loads during key times of day.

    It is important that you don't resubmit your credit card information during step 5 of the store checkout process, as this may bill your card twice for the same order. If this happens, or if your order won't go through (ie, you do not reach the step 6 "receipt" page), please email us, or call us toll free* at 1.888.865.5535 between 9am and 5pm PST.

    *- This toll free number has been temporarily disabled for calls from Florida.
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