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jireland #1 25/05/2011 - 14h03

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The Background
--------------------

With the Lockon/DCS series, the only head tracking interface that is supported is NaturalPoints TrackIR.  To use a different system ie. FreeTrack or FaceTracknoIR, an exploit must be applied to one of the dll files.  This unfortunately will not work with 64 bit versions of windows, which in turn means that you have to run your games in 32 bit mode.

So, why do Eagle Dynamics only support TrackIR?  Well, they did start developing an interface to allow alternative head tracking systems but they were asked to stop by NaturalPoint.  It has not been confirmed but it is believed that Eagle Dynamics were told if they included any other system, then they were not allowed to include TrackIR.

Possible Solutions
----------------------

These unfortunately are few and far between.  There is an option to use ppjoy, but myself and many others can not get it to work, it is quite a complicated setup, mainly caused by the unsigned drivers.

By far the best way would be if Eagle Dynamics changed their decision and included another protocol.  There are methods that are very easy to implement and would not require any code or software developed by NaturalPoint.

Why would Eagle Dynamics do that?
-------------------------------

If NaturalPoint wanted to stop people from exploiting their software, then they have failed.  By stopping other head tracking interfaces from competing, FreeTrack (and others) have been forced to exploit the TrackIR's files.  Eagle Dynamics would actually be helping to stop the exploitation of the TrackIR software.

Another reason would be the numbers of people using the other available head tracking systems, these are very rough figures  but so far the number of downloads are:

FreeTrack - 50,000 +
FaceTracknoIR 20,000 +

I do not have figures on other systems but they still show 70,000 downloads combined.  Yes, some may have download several times but even so it is an amazing figure that can not be ignored by Eagle Dynamics.

So what can we do?
-------------------------

Well, this situation has existed before.  A game called ArmA which was produced by Bohemia Interactive went through exactly the same thing.  The community got together and started an online petition.  After 900+ signatures, Bohemia Interactive changed their stance and included a FreeTrack interface in one of their following updates.  So it can be done!

In an attempt to persuade Eagle Dynamics  I have started an online petition as well.  It is quickly gaining popularity.  I hope with your support that we can exceed the 900 signatures received for ArmA and get into the thousands.  It takes very little time, costs you nothing, your email address remains hidden (unless you specify otherwise) and you could help change the way NaturalPoint, Eagle Dynamics and other producers of games approach our head tracking community.

The Petition can be found here:
http://www.petitiononline.com/Tracking/petition.html

I look forward to your support and hope we can make a difference.
boomer #2 26/05/2011 - 03h51

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signed  :)
Blindasabat #3 28/05/2011 - 12h42

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Me too,

Although I don't play Eagle Dynamics products at the moment (I have Flanker 1 and 2) I think this is a bad developement. If TrackIR is trying to monopolize, it is a lost cause from the start, but I do understand their point of view (I think).
miniding69 #4 29/05/2011 - 00h29

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Signed!!

Support Freetrack !!!!

139 Signature til now.... Go signing!!!
Freetrack user.
Membre de la Boulet Air Force
Flamming Cliff 2 & DCS A10C player.
blueman #5 31/05/2011 - 20h22

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Signed

 207 and still going
boomer #6 31/05/2011 - 21h21

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We did it! Headtracking API is realeased! Eagle Dynamics once again show why they are amongst my favorite developers!
jireland #7 01/06/2011 - 10h52

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I have sent a message to all three members shown in the contact list to see if they can integrate the API into FreeTrack.  Has anyone had a reply from them before?  It all seems a bit dead as far as the FreeTrack development is concerned.
V4Friend #8 01/06/2011 - 22h41

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jireland @ 01/06/2011 - 10h52 a dit:

I have sent a message to all three members shown in the contact list to see if they can integrate the API into FreeTrack.  Has anyone had a reply from them before?  It all seems a bit dead as far as the FreeTrack development is concerned.


Hello Jim (and all others, of course!),

I have carefully studied the files that were uploaded and it seems 'doable' for sure. Right now, I am fiddling with it. The idea is to make it work with any free head-tracking program, so I'm implementing the FreeTrack memory-mapping for this....

I'll be back  B)

P.S.: For those who do not know it: I'm developing FaceTrackNoIR. I'm a great admirer of the work the FreeTrack team has done, so I hope they will show some 'life' soon?!
Blana #9 02/06/2011 - 19h46

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@V4Friend: have you considered implemeting IR led tracking with FaceTrackNoIR?  Yeah i know how that sounds :P; still, especially with the lack of FreeTrack updates some of us fear FreeTrack is dead ;( and anyway why not?  I reckon it should be a lot easier than what you've done so far, plus you really need to add another item to that Tracker Source dropdown list :P.
V4Friend #10 03/06/2011 - 14h02

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Blana @ 02/06/2011 - 19h46 a dit:

@V4Friend: have you considered implementing IR led tracking with FaceTrackNoIR?  Yeah i know how that sounds :P; still, especially with the lack of FreeTrack updates some of us fear FreeTrack is dead ;( and anyway why not?  I reckon it should be a lot easier than what you've done so far, plus you really need to add another item to that Tracker Source dropdown list :P.

Hi Blana,

You are right: the tracker-source dropdown is still a bit under-populated  :) . It's certainly possible to add an IR tracker to that and I have considered adding a WiiMote tracker there. But: time is scarce and there is still a lot to do...

I have tried to contact the FreeTrack devs, but received no reply. It would be a shame if they have stopped developing altogether.
Blana #11 03/06/2011 - 19h01

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Thank you for your answer.  Hopefully the FreeTrack devs will wake up :) someday soon and continue to improve this great software.  Or maybe some other open source headtracking software will emerge, perhaps, one could hope, unifying all tracking solutions - face tracking, ir tracking and whatnot - in one sweet piece of software :D.
Edited by Blana on 03/06/2011 at 19h02.
V4Friend #12 05/06/2011 - 16h27

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Hi Blana,

I didn't actually say that I wouldn't think about it... FaceTrackNoIR would be the right program for it and I am looking for other head-trackers that can be 'plugged-in'. Just takes time  :)
paparountas #13 07/08/2011 - 22h53

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bravo to everyone i did not get the chance to sign the petition.
GHOST #14 02/09/2011 - 05h17

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This petition has been closed to new signatures at the author's request.

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