HTC VIVE Pro Eye, Cosmos dev kit, Infinity subscription expand VR ecosystem

The Vive Cosmos VR headset will be based on Vive Reality system, which ensures seamless movement during your VR journey.

HTC has announced a virtual reality headset at CES 2019.

Daniel O'Brien, head of HTC Americas, said the Vive Pro Eye will target enterprise clients and serve as a way for HTC to enter the B2B market.

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But no matter how great VR may be, we have to come back to reality sometime. HTC's primary hook has been Viveport's subscription's service, which allows you to pay $9 a month to play five games of your choosing.

The all-new VIVE tracking system offers an out of box experience that gets you into VR fast and easy. In other words, if the user is looking straight ahead, there's no reason to have the periphery in focus and rendering at full speed. Lockheed Martin is using the Vive Pro Eye to help train student pilots, for example. HTC refers to this technique as "foveated rendering". Aimed at mass users, Vive Cosmos is a new premium PC VR system. This is HTC's new take on a monthly subscription when it comes to VR gaming. The point is that it should allow businesses to make better training simulations. A render that appeared on-screen during HTC's CES press conference clearly showed a smartphone form factor overlaid onto the headset, though the company stopped short of outright saying it would work with smartphones.

That built-in eye-tracking feature is reducing the overall graphics requirements required to run VR apps while it's also permitting devs to focus the users on what they want. The Vive Cosmos will not feature eye tracking and will rely on handheld controllers.

The lights on the Vive Cosmos controllers have a very Tron vibe, but they don't look that much different to exsiting VR controllers. We didn't get many details during the show, but it sounds as if the Cosmos will be able to hook up to your PC for a high-fidelity experience, or be detached for a more mobile use-case.

HTC VIVE™, the leader in room-scale Virtual Reality (VR), today announced new hardware, software, and content offerings that redefine how VR is experienced.

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.

Vanessa Coleman

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