Fresh hardware, a bold new social platform, and Vive Pro eye-tracking are on the way.
The 2019 Consumer Electronic Expo is off to an exciting start as HTC Vive debuted not only a new VR headset capable of inside-out tracking, but a new social platform, new subscription service, and new updates to their existing Viveport platform.
Let’s take a closer look at all the announcements made during the fast-paced presser:
HTC VIVE COSMOS
Welp, mystery solved. Just a few days ago the company tweeted a behind-the-scenes photo featuring a shin inconspicuous shipping container with its label mysteriously blurred. Some of the top guesses included everything from “Vive Gloves” to “Vive Cloud.”
In actuality HTC was teasing the latest addition their VR hardware lineup, the HTC Vive Cosmos, a PC-based 6DoF VR headset featuring inside-out tracking and a flip-up visor.
“Cosmos is the newest VR headset in our family built with absolute comfort in mind. We really wanted this to be something that would make it easy to access your virtual world,” spoke Drew Bamford, VP of Vive Creative Labs, during the press conference.
The strange-looking headset features four separate cameras and a pair of motion controllers baring a slight resemblance to the Oculus Touch system. Acording to General Manager of HTC Vive America, Dan O’Brien, the device is powered by PC, but teased possible mobile functionality. In a follow-up tweet made by HTC, the company added weight to the idea by stating the system could be used ‘at home or on-the-go’.
The headset will also be the first Vive product to operate on the Vive Reality platform.
VIVE REALITY SYSTEM
HTC looks to be creating its own personal OASIS with the Vive Reality System, a reimagining of the core Vive software that allows users to socialize with one another by playing games and watching videos among a variety of other “creative experiences.”
Users will start their journey in a world referred to as “Origin,” where they can begin socializing and exploring. Using their ‘Lense’ tool, they’ll be able to create a “portal” in which to access their app library, browse content and explore other worlds.
“Origin is an ever expanding world design for discovery. You are transported to other worlds through what we call your ‘Lens’,” adds Bamford. “You can summon it any time to reveal information, tools, and entire other worlds so that you can set a course from your current place to a new destination.”
The HTC Vive Cosmos will be the first device to operate on the platform.
For fans of the Viveport subscription service, but not the download limit, Viveport Infinity ups-the-ante by opening up access to over 500 apps at one time. The service will begin April 5th, Viveport’s third birthday. No word yet on an official price.
Along with Infinity, Viveport itself is receiving its fair-share of attention. The extensive library of gaming goodness will soon feature both 3D and 2D video content, including exclusive footage from Red Bull.
VIVE PRO EYE
Eye-tracking functionality officially hits the mainstream as HTC unveiled a new rendition to its high-end Vive Pro headset, Vive Pro Eye. This version is virtually identical to its older counterpart, with the exception of the eye tracking and an internal camera. The company demoed the technology using its Homerun Derby Simulation in which players used an actual bat to hit virtual dingers.
With another four days of CES left to go there’s no doubt HTC’s reveals were just the tip of the iceberg in terms of VR & AR related announcements. We’ll be on top of every big moment as it happens so be sure to stick with us all this week.