HTC Vive Cosmos Headset Promises Lightweight, Portable VR


Tied to the Vive Cosmos unveiling (or at least, partial unveiling) is the announcement of a new VR UI, the Vive Reality System (Vivers) that will "build a seamless bridge from the real to the virtual world" according to Drew Bamford, VP, Creative Labs at HTC Vive. Foveated rendering uses eye tracking to increase the quality of the image where you're looking.

The first benefit results from foveated rendering, which takes advantage of the headset's eye-tracker to adjust which parts of a virtual scene get priority when processing graphics. The Taiwanese company has introduced a new variant of the Vive Pro known as the Vive Pro Eye. The VR subscription platform will be essentially the "Netflix" for VR games. How do you feel about the new Vive Pro Eye and Vive Infinity?

HTC didn't reveal any specifications, features or pricing and availability information, however.

HTC is also clearly doing better in the professional space (creating tie-ins with brands like Audi, BMW and Major League Baseball) than it is in the consumer arena when it comes to pushing forward with its Vive development, and that's great for the future of VR too. That'd perhaps allow for a PC experience sans-wires as well as a lightweight mobile experience.

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HTC says it plans to make the Vive Pro Eye available to developers later this year, and it's already been working with a select group of partners on experiences for the new headset.

Between the Quest and now Cosmos, it'll be interesting to see how VR continues to evolve from both HTC and Oculus as the devices start to move further away from requiring a PC to be powered. However, this headset is neither a replacement of nor an upgraded version of their previous and original Vive. Vive Cosmos is not necessarily a "Vive 2". It's a smarter use of technology, like when video games make faraway areas less detailed until you go to them, and could make the Vive Pro Eye seem even more powerful than it actually is. It would be nice to see the Vive Pro Eye follow suit with higher resolution displays of their own.

The Cosmos will also be the first headset to receive what HTC is calling the 'Vive Reality System', a new design of VR software.

There aren't enough details though - not for Vive Reality, not Vive Cosmos, not Vive Pro Eye, none of it. Oculus has mastered the art of revealing new products.