"I actually invented the Lighthouse tracking technology quite early...and I was very worried it would be almost impossible to implement, so I sat on it for months and months."
- Valve engineer Alan Yates, speaking at the Hackaday Supercon 2016 about the creation of Valve's Lighthouse motion-tracking system.
This year the HTC Vive arrived, a virtual reality headset known best for being the first in the market to allow room-scale VR experiences in which players could freely move around.
That freedom was afforded in large part due to the Lighthouse tracking system engineered by Valve, who collaborated with HTC to design the Vive.
Back in June Valve engineer Alan Yates estimated Valve's VR/AR efforts had grown from a small team to encompass about a third of the company, and in a presentation at the Hackaday Supercon 2016 conference last month he went through how he and other engineers designed and fine-tuned Lighthouse into what it is today.
A recorded version of his talk is now up on Hackaday's YouTube channel (we've taken the liberty of embedding it above) and it's well worth a watch if you're at all curious about how the Lighthouse system works. You can also go back and watch this "inside the lab" video published by Make magazine this summer to get a closer look at some of Valve's early Lighthouse prototypes.