Intel's HTC Vive camera could stop you from stepping on your cat

Camera could also track your hands or new controllers

Intel is working on a camera accessory for the HTC Vive that could help map out your surroundings. Although the Vive already features a "Chaperone" mode that shows a fuzzy representation of objects around you, the Intel camera would show users a video feed instead.

The prototype camera was revealed on Twitter by Dimitri Diakopoulus, an Intel Prototyping Engineer. Diakopoulus told Upload VR the camera system is capable of tracking hand movements as well as IR-tracked controllers.

The system can also scan a user's environment in real-time, allowing the Vive to warn you when you're about to trip over a chair or step on your cat. This real-time environment mapping will be handy for blending VR with the real environment, so you can pick up a glass of water, for example, without taking the Vive off.

HTC Vive Intel camera prototype

Diakopoulus didn't say whether the camera system could allow for any augmented or "mixed reality" features on the HTC Vive. For that, you'll have to shell out $3,000 for the developer version of the Microsoft HoloLens.

We expect to learn more about Intel's camera system for the HTC Vive either this week at the VRLA expo or on August 16 during the Intel Developer Forum. Stay tuned as details roll in.

Top image credit: Dimitri Diakopoulus | Twitter