Tech

HTC Vive Pro Eye, Vive Cosmos VR headsets announced at CES 2019

HTC Vive Pro Eye, Vive Cosmos VR headsets announced at CES 2019

HTC is pushing the envelope with a new piece of hardware, the HTC Vive Pro Eye.

With the Vive Pro, HTC made its play as the technological leader in virtual reality.

In addition to eye tracking, HTC is also improving its visual quality.

That HTC, which reported a 62 percent drop in revenue year-on-year in its last earnings call, is hoping for virtual reality to revitalise its business is no secret: The company has been pushing its Vive platform heavily, from launching the high-end Vive Pro and self-contained Vive Focus to announcing software subscription offerings, big-budget film tie-ins, in-house studios, and even accelerator and venture capital programmes created to boost uptake of VR technology.

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Instead of using hand controllers to navigate content, the headset uses "gaze-oriented menu navigation". 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. HTC refers to this technique as "foveated rendering". Over 1,000 new games have been introduced to the platform since then. Lockheed Martin is using the Vive Pro Eye to help train student pilots, for example. The last one is important for people using laptops to run their VR experience as the practice burns through battery life.

Intertwined with HTC Vive and Mozilla is Amazon Sumerian, enabling HTC Vive developers to concept, test and publish VR-optimized websites, without requiring specialized programming experience. Cosmos is usable both at home or on the go, according to HTC.

Vive Cosmos will come with the debut of Vive Reality System, which offers "core software experiences for a new age of spatial computing". Another notable feature of the Vive Cosmos is customization, with HTC promising that the company will keep upgrading the device with a wide array of modules that will be showcased soon.

We also noticed through the teaser video above that Cosmos also features the highly useful flip-up design.

HTC is targeting its new Vive Pro Eye headset at the enterprise market, which it says will have the most "immediate" benefits from the technology. HTC did not disclose pricing for any of these new announcements.


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