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Valve now licensing SteamVR tracking to third-party hardware companies

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A training session is required for this partner program

SteamVR tracking technology is now available to hardware makers, royalty-free, Valve announced. Companies can sign up to license the technology for their own devices through a new partner program the company launched today.

The program will give developers access to the virtual reality tech after a representative completes a required training program. The in-person sessions will be held over three-day periods in September and costs $3,000 to participate. Valve notes that this may not be a requirement in the future, but for now, third-party developers interested in the VR tracking technology must be Valve-certified as having grasped "a solid foundation in the theory" of it.

Once that’s squared away, developers will get access to the dev kit, including HTC Vive base stations, sensors, custom prototyping accessories and other tools to start creating virtual reality software. They’ll also be able to contribute to the exclusive developer forum. All devices created through the licensing program will be royalty-free, Valve also said.

SteamVR is currently best known as the technology behind the HTC Vive. Valve and HTC partnered on the headset, which is now available at retail. Unlike other VR devices, the Vive has room-scale capabilities for an immersive, 360-degree experience.