SteamVR tracking
LG might have a prototype device on display at GDC next month Valve

LG could be planning a virtual reality headset to take on the HTC Vive, according to reports that the company is working on a high-end device developed in collaboration with game studio Valve. A prototype of the device will be on display at Valve's booth at GDC 2017, the company said.

Valve has suggested that LG's VR headset will offer room-scale 3D tracking much like the HTC Vive, meaning it will be able to track wearers as they move around a room. This suggests the headset will be a PC-based device similar to the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, rather than a mobile-based device akin to Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream View.

In a statement sent to UploadVR, the Half-Life developers said LG's device would be "a SteamVR tracking headset" that will offer "a high fidelity, next-generation VR experience".

SteamVR is Valve's 3D tracking technology, which uses a system of sensors to map positional information from the HTC Vive headset and controllers in a room. The technology, which Valve licenses out for use by hardware manufacturers, allows for a more realistic VR experience because it means users can move and look around virtual objects, rather than requiring them to be stood or sat in one spot.

By the sounds of it, the device will be nothing like the LG 360 VR headset launched by the company in May 2016, which only worked with the LG G5 and was a distinctly halfhearted foray in virtual reality by the South Korean phone manufacturer.

Currently the HTC Vive is the only VR headset to use SteamVR tracking, with Facebook Oculus relying on its own sensor technology for the Oculus Rift. Oculus introduced additional sensor support last year to help put its capabilities on-par with HTC's device, which is generally regarded as the most technically adept virtual reality headset currently available.

Sony is also believed to be exploring an HTC Vive-like positional tracking system for its PlayStation VR headset. As for LG's rumoured device, the company will reportedly be meeting with game developers during GDC 2017 in San Francisco to get their feedback before moving on to developing a commercial unit.

"Pricing, launch dates, and territories will be announced at a later date," Valve said.