Wednesday, 20 March, 2019

HTC teases wireless 'Vive Cosmos' VR headset at CES 2019

No Caption Provided HTC Announces Vive Cosmos, A VR Headset That Can Seemingly be Powered by Your Phone
Wayne Curry | 11 January, 2019, 06:14

HTC is putting some enterprise application heft behind its Vive virtual reality system via partnerships with Mozilla's Firefox, AWS Amazon Sumerian and Fidelity investments as well as an eye tracking system.

Aside from these new VR headset visors, HTC also announced that it has improved its Viveport Infinity subscription and introduced the Vive Reality System. A visual technique known as "foveated rendering" is leveraged to render sharp images around wherever the human eye is focused on during a virtual scene, and correspondingly reduces the image quality around the peripheral vision.

The Cosmos seems to be HTC's effort to develop a standalone VR headset to rival the Oculus Quest promising to offer "absolute comfort, easy set up, and will require no external tracking".

"What VR intenders say about VR today is that it's too hard to use, too hard to set up, that they couldn't take with them". A new VR baseball game called MLB Home Run Derby VR is played only using eye movements to navigate menus and perform in-game functions. In fairness, owning a VR headset, there are more than a few sensors and cables that make using it a little bit of a faff.

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The Vive Cosmos is created to make VR more accessible to the masses. It doesn't look like the Cosmos has wires though, which makes me wonder whether the recent HTC Vive wireless adapter - the one using Intel's WiGig tech - is built straight into the headset this time. The Vive Cosmos will not feature eye tracking and will rely on handheld controllers. Cosmos will be the first Vive headset to feature the "Vive Reality System", an entirely new design experience for VR. "We'll have more to share in the coming months". The company went on to reveal Viveport Infinity, which is more squarely focused at the gaming market. Building on the already existing VIVE Pro, HTC is making a minor tweak that could have significant gains for its customers. HTC keeps shouting, "Hey, did you know you can buy all your VR games through Viveport?"

"We found that over 85 percent of VR intenders believe that ease of use and set up is the most important factor to consider while purchasing a headset", said Daniel O'Brien, GM, Americas, HTC Vive. It'll be launching on April 5th, which is also HTC's "Vive Day".

Availability and price for the Vive Cosmos is expected to be revealed later this year, and developer kits should be made available in early 2019.

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