I’m in the market for going down the head tracking route for FS. It looks great and a kind of half way house to VR immersion but keeping the great visuals I’m used to on the screen. I’ve got a Reverb G2 but just not sold on VR enough yet for various reasons.
My question is as of right now which out of the two head tracking methods available do people recommend? They both seem like they’ve got their pros and cons. The Tobii eye tracker looks potentially better but its more expensive and am I right in thinking isn’t fully functional with the sim yet? So I’d be paying extra for something which is potentially going to become better?
TrackIR is cheaper but you have to wear sensors on your head, which puts me off it a bit.
I got the TrackIR about 4 months ago. Very easy to setup and connect with the Sim. I use it all of the time. The only complaint that I have about it is the sensor clamp that attaches to your headset. The sensors themselves are not in the way but the clamp for the headset is cheap and just doesn’t work most of the time. I just put a small piece of masking tape on it to hold into place. I’ve not used the Tobii. Good luck.
There is a third option - EDtracker. Easy to build your own if you can solder stuff and VERY cheap to buy compared with TrackIR or Tobii. It also has an estimated 40% lower latency than IR trackers.
It works with the free OpenTrack software and it’s possible to emulate 6 DoF with a bit of clever programming in OpenTrack. You can tweak it so that when you tilt your head down, you can zoom in to see the instruments better; you can move your head sideways and move your view across to the other side of the cockpit.
Follow the tutorial videos on YouTube to learn how to set it up. It’s a little bit fiddly but once you get it set up properly, it works a treat. I cannot fly without it.
**EDIT - Here’s a clip of it in action showing the pseudo-6DoF: https://youtu.be/4fUb87WsdaY?t=510
TrackIR is a mature tech with a well written software behind it. It hasn’t been updated for a while but the simple reason for that is…it doesn’t need to, it just works, very well.
I would recommend the IR beacon type headmount over the reflector type but there are plenty of these available in the wild from various manufacturers. (Including the TrackClip Pro itself which is the official version and the DelanClip which I personally use)
Been using TrackIR for years with the pro clip. You just attach it to a headset. I use a wireless headset which leaves you with one wire, which is the only drawback. I have it plugged into a USB bar on my desk so it doesn’t pull or get in the way. Wireless would be the best, but honestly once you’re settled and set up you forget about the thing. And if you ask me how it performs, I would literally quit flight simulation without it. Hands down. Here’s a video of how it looks as the user (all of my videos are with TrackIR).
Same here…trackir with the hat clip works beautifully. In fact I would not do flightsimming without at all (msfs/dcs).
Have long since taken the approach to use the in cockpit controls as much as humanly possible and that can only be done using trackir,(and possibly VR, which is too cumbersome for me)
I lean in and look at in cockpit screens and manipulate switches and dials in the virtual cockpit.
For me it is more like flying the real plane, but that is just me.
You’ve pretty much understood it already. TrackIR is more mature (for MSFS), Tobii is new, and currently has some limitations (right now only 3 DOF instead of 6 DOF, and lacking in setup/tinkering with sensitivities.
I’ve got the Tobii, and am really very happy with it, not having to have anything strapped to my head is a big plus for me personally. But I’m sure that -right now- the TrackIR will give the better experience.
have you seen the 9,99$ option of https://smoothtrack.app/ ? (given you own a smartphone) tracks your head movement via the phone camera without you putting anything on your head.
i use it placing my iphone above the screen, works astoundingly good even in a dim lit room
That’s the option I am using all the time: iPhone + SmoothTrack App + OpenTrack Desktop App = Profit.
It works really well as long as the room isn’t too dark. There is some lag due to the WiFi connection of the iPhone but you could attach a cable and use the wired LAN support in SmoothTrack to get rid of that as well. Others than that it’s the best hands-free, err. heads-free solution available. No headset or any marker needed.
Decided to get a Track IR in the end as its the cheaper option and I’m really loving it so far. Been having the same issues with SU7 as everyone else but generally it still works well enough to use. I wish I’d bought one long ago actually. It makes such a difference to my enjoyment of the sim. After you get set up with a decent HOTAS it should really be the next hardware peripheral everyone gets thats a must have.
I would certainly recommend getting one ahead of investing in VR. Its far less financially painful than VR and doesn’t stretch your patience in the same way.
I’m still interested in the Tobii eye tracker but I’m not sure I like the idea of the camera tracking my eye movement as well as my head. Maybe I’d need to experience it to know.
I have both. Was using trackir for many years and loved it. Since getting tobii Three months ago I’ve permanently retired the trackir. The addition of eye tracking smoothing out the movement is great and the number one benefit is nothing on my head!!!
Yes tobii is missing 6dof and sensitivity settings in msfs at the moment but I can’t imaging that won’t be fixed soon. Even with out all that tobii is better in my personal opinion and once its fully working it will be the only choice.
Trackir is AWESOME and if on a budget you most definitely should consider it. I for one think you get what you pay for and tobii is that much better and deserving of the extra cost.
I have used the TrackIR with the clip on the headset for many years and would not fly without it. I currently don’t have my sim setup (long story) and while I have purchased and installed MSFS I have not yet played it as I have none of my hardware setup (again, long story). I do miss flight sim, but enthusiasm has waned since I don’t do any IRL flying any more either. When I return to FS I want to go down the helicopter path and VR - I’d be interested why you are opting TrackIR over VR, especially with the Reverb G2. (I previously hired and trialed the Vive and later the Vive Pro and decided the resolution in cockpit wasn’t there for me yet)