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  • Vive Pro Eye: Everything We Know About HTC’s New Headset
    Vive Pro Eye: Everything We Know About HTC’s New Headset

    Vive Cosmos wasn’t the only new VR headset introduced at HTC’s CES press conference this year. The company also debuted Vive Pro Eye, an update to last year’s Vive Pro. As the name suggests, it comes with a key new feature: integrated eye-tracking.

    But what else is new about HTC’s latest? Read on for our full run-down of everything we know about the Vive Pro Eye.

    It’s Pretty Much A Vive Pro… With Eye-Tracking

    We’ll get to Vive Pro Eye’s big new feature in a second. The actual headset, however, seems to be identical to last year’s Pro. Specs on the official site suggest as much: 2880 x 1600 resolution with a 110-degree field of view (FOV) and 90Hz refresh rate. Integrated audio is still in, though the site does list ‘Enhancement of headphone in ergonomics’. We’re trying to find out if that means the headphones are indeed improved over the original Pro. It also still uses SteamVR tracking, unlike Vive Cosmos.

    But Eye-Tracking Has Lots Of Uses

    Eye-tracking may be the only genuinely new thing about Vive Pro Eye, but it’s a big inclusion. It’s a long-anticipated feature for VR and can be used as a form of input. Imagine selecting things on a menu simply using your eyes, or having the direction your pupils are facing replicated on a virtual avatar. Most importantly, though, eye-tracking enables foveated rendering. That means the headset will only fully render the part of a screen it knows you’re looking at. That takes a lot of processing pressure off of the PC that’s powering the VR experience.

    It’s Intended For Enterprise First and Foremost

    Unlike last year, HTC’s wording on who Vive Pro Eye is for was clear. The device was introduced as an enterprise-level device first and foremost. It’s very possible that regular consumers with deep pockets will be able to buy it but, like the original Pro, it’s not a replacement for the first Vive. To that end, HTC is demoing Pro Eye with a range of business applications, like a new car viewing app from Zerolight.

    It’ll Probably Be Very Expensive

    With that in mind we should say this thing is probably going to be expensive. The original Vive Pro started at $799 for the base headset. That price rose to $1,400 for a bundle with controllers and base stations. We don’t know if Pro Eye is going to be replacing the first Pro yet, but either way we’d expect a similar price range.

    It’s Coming Soon

    Vive Pro Eye will be out in Q2 2019. We don’t know the exact date, but we wouldn’t be surprised if we found out during GDC/MWC in March or Vive Day on April 5th. We don’t even know if regular consumers will be able to buy it. Vive Cosmos won’t be out until after Pro Eye’s release.

    Tagged with: eye tracking, foveated rendering, HTC Vive Pro Eye, VR Headset

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  • Vive Cosmos: Everything We Know About HTC’s New Headset
    Vive Cosmos: Everything We Know About HTC’s New Headset

    CES 2019 was a busy one for HTC Vive. It’s biggest announcement was undoubtedly Vive Cosmos, a new PC VR headset. It’s not a sequel to the original Vive, but it is a consumer product unlike the Vive Pro and newly-announced Vive Pro Eye.

    Confused yet?

    Well don’t worry. Below, we’ve rounded up everything we know about Vive Cosmos thus far. The headset’s not due to launch until later in the year, so check back often for the latest updates and more.

    It’s A PC-Based Headset

    Let’s get this out of the way first: Vive Cosmos is not a standalone VR headset. Like the original Vive and Pro models, it connects to a PC. HTC sees this as a new strain of VR device that may entice people that haven’t yet bought a PC VR headset. Expect it to run popular PC VR games like Arizona Sunshine and Superhot VR.

    But It Might Connect To Other Devices Too

    While we know Cosmos will connect to PCs first and foremost, it sounds like other devices can power it too. HTC says this is a headset for home use and, cryptically, on-the-go too. In the announcement trailer above you can see a phone propped next to the headset. We might be able to plug our phones into the kit for a scalable VR experience. The Vive Cosmos website also describes the headset as modular, meaning you’ll be able to customize it. Expect to hear more about this feature in the months ahead.

    It’s Got Inside Out Tracking

    Perhaps the biggest difference between Vive Cosmos and other PC-based Vives is the inside-out tracking. Whereas Vive and Vive Pro use SteamVR’s Lighthouse system, which requires external base stations placed around a room, Cosmos does all of its tracking internally. Four cameras fitted to the headset are able to scan the environment around you and provide six degrees of freedom (6DOF) positional tracking. This will make it much easier to set up VR, though we don’t yet know if the accuracy will stand up to SteamVR.

    The Screen Flips Up

    Look at that! Just flip it up and you’re back in the real world! Wow!

    It’s Got New Controllers And They Look Very Familiar

    Along with base stations, Cosmos also does away with the original Vive controllers. Their replacements look strikingly similar to the new Oculus Quest controllers. There’s a tracking ring that runs over your hand for the headset to see, just like on Quest. We do prefer the snazzy tracking pattern on the Cosmos controllers, though. For the first time ever on Vive hardware, there’s also an analog stick instead of a trackpad. Two face buttons and a dedicated Home button also feature as does a trigger.

    It’s Going To Have Vive’s Best Screen Yet

    HTC isn’t revealing official specs for Vive Cosmos just yet. That said, on the Cosmos website, the company claims it will have its ‘sharpest screen yet’. That suggests that kit could beat even the Vive Pro’s 2160×1200 (1080×1200 per eye) display.

    It’s Powered By A New Platform

    HTC also announced Vive Reality System at

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  • Mobile Notifications in VR Could Soon be a Possibility With Dell Mobile Connect The feature is still a concept at this stage.
  • CES 2019: HTC Vive Pro’s Eye Tracking Is Supplied By Tobii
    CES 2019: HTC Vive Pro’s Eye Tracking Is Supplied By Tobii

    Tobii announced today that it is the supplier of the eye tracking technology for HTC’s new Vive Pro Eye VR headset. HTC announced the Vive Pro Eye durings its special press event yesterday.

    The company highlighted use cases such as more authentic avatars in social VR and gaze based UIs. More importantly however, HTC states it enables foveated rendering.

    Foveated rendering is a process which renders most of the view of a VR headset at lower resolution except for the exact area where the user’s eye is pointed, which is detected with eye tracking. That area in front of the eye — where humans perceive the greatest detail — is rendered at a significantly higher resolution. Foveated rendering is considered crucial for future advancement of VR as it allows for higher resolutions without impossible GPU requirements.

    Tobii first announced it was working with a major VR company in late 2018. It’s now clear that company is HTC. Combined with the company’s partnership with NVIDIA, HTC now has access to the full stack of technologies it needed for foveated rendering.

    The new Vive Pro Eye headset is being shown off at both companys’ booths at CES. We’ll be posting our detailed impressions later this week.

    Tagged with: foveated rendering, HTC Vive Pro Eye, tobii

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  • Oculus Headsets Lineup Explained: Should You Wait For Oculus Quest?
    oculus go oculus rift oculus quest

    Facebook’s line-up of VR headsets is steadily growing. What’s the difference between the Oculus Rift and Oculus Go? What’s the Oculus Quest? Which should you buy? Read on for our rundown of the current Oculus line-up.

    Oculus Rift

    Rift is a positionally tracked VR headset which is powered by your gaming PC. It’s the flagship product of the Oculus lineup. It’s priced at $399 and comes with Touch controllers, which represent your hands in VR.

    The Rift cannot operate without a gaming PC, and won’t work on most laptops. It comes with two USB tracking sensors which must be set up in your room for positional tracking.

    The Rift is mainly used for gaming, but is also useful for social VR and 3D art. Thanks to the extreme power of PC graphics cards, the scope and graphical realism of Rift experiences far exceeds that of the Go or Quest.

    Oculus Go

    Go is a basic 3DoF standalone (all-in-one) headset, priced at $199.

    3DoF means that it has only rotation tracking, not positional. You can rotate your head, but any actual position movements will not be registered. Similarly, the controller (there’s only one) is essentially just a rotational laser pointer. Because of this, the headset can only be properly used when seated stationary.

    Standalone means that the computing hardware and storage are all built inside the headset. Go doesn’t connect to your PC, other than for basic USB file transfers.

    Go is primarily intended for media consumption, such as 360° video of watching Netflix on a virtual screen, and social VR. There are some casual games for the platform, but few major games.

    Oculus Quest

    Quest is an upcoming 6DoF standalone headset, launching in Spring for $399.

    Like Go, it doesn’t connect to a PC- it’s standalone. But unlike Go, it has full scale positional tracking and the Rift’s great Touch controllers. Think of it as a happy medium between the two.

    The headset has 4 onboard cameras which perform inside-out tracking, so there are no sensors to set up or wires.

    Quest is being marketed as a games console, and gaming seems to be the focus of the headset’s launch lineup.

    Which To Get? Wait For Quest?

    Oculus Go and Quest are meant for people who don’t own a high-end PC. If you do own one, the Rift is almost certainly the better choice. You’ll be able to play a wide range of games than Quest, and the graphics in those games will be better.

    If you don’t own a high-end PC, the question of whether to wait for Quest is one of what you can afford. Thanks to its positional tracking and Touch controllers, the Quest will deliver a much more immersive experience than Go. While the $399 price point is double that of Go, we feel that the advantages are more than worth it, especially if you’re a gamer.

    If you only want to try out VR for a low price or mainly want to watch non-interactive content, Go is a great choice. But if you’re interested in full interactivity or gaming- wait for Quest.

    Tagged with:

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  • How Vancouver’s VR/AR scene will explode in 2019 This guest post has been co-authored by Kate Wilson and Dan Burgar.
  • CES 2019 Preview – Population: One Is A Thrilling VR Battle Royale Shooter
    CES 2019 Preview – Population: One Is A Thrilling VR Battle Royale Shooter

    Population One from Big Box VR is a thrilling and intense VR battle royale shooter that actually innovates in some surprising and intuitive ways.

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  • Rec Room Reaches Over One Million VR Headsets
    Rec Room Reaches Over One Million VR Headsets

    Rec Room is ringing in the new year by celebrating its successes in the old one.

    In a post on its official site, developer Against Gravity revealed its app had been installed on over one million VR headsets by the end of 2018. Rec Room is a social VR platform available on Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Windows VR and PlayStation VR. It’s free-to-play and completely cross-play, meaning that you can meet up with friends inside other headsets. This figure doesn’t seem to count the same headset with multiple accounts. If that’s the case, this is an impressive feat and deserves a pat on the back. The developer didn’t reveal individual stats for which headsets had seen how many installs.

    Elsewhere, Against Gravity talked a lot about the popularity of player-created rooms, of which there are now over 400,000. Though Rec Room comes with a bunch of developer-made activities, players are free to make their own adventures in these rooms too. And the best rooms saw over 300,000 visits. Players now spend over 40% of time in these user-created environments. You can see some of people’s creations in the video above.

    “It’s inspiring to see how people are using Rec Room to learn how to game dev, design, program, organize a community, create a new talk show or podcast, create art galleries and inventions together, and all the other crazy things you’ve done,” Against Gravity wrote in its post.

    Look out for plenty more announcements from Rec Room in the year to come. There’s a rumor the game is coming to Oculus’ new Quest headset too.

    Tagged with: Against Gravity, rec room

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  • CES 2019: Pimax Displays Knuckles-Like Controller Prototype
    CES 2019: Pimax Displays Knuckles-Like Controller Prototype

    Pimax is showing off its latest VR hardware at CES 2019 with Knuckles-like controllers “designed to free your hand for an open-palm immersive experience.”

    We scheduled an appointment to see Pimax hardware later today but a lack of clarity in the company’s press release leaves open the question of whether these controllers — either the thumbstick or touchpad versions — will actually be shown with hands-on time at CES this year. The release refers to “prototypes on the stand” and the company did not answer a follow-up question from UploadVR seeking clarity.

    Image provided by Pimax showing its hand-strapped controllers with a thumbstick.

    The “8K series VR headsets with brand new Pimax controllers” also come embedded with Leap Motion hand-tracking and 7invensun eye-tracking technology, according to the company. 

    “All the Pimax 5K Plus, 8K, and 5K BE headsets now have Leap Motion’s embedded modules, which feature a 180-degree FoV,” the press release states. “This is a perfect match with Pimax’s 200 degree FoV for a natural user-experience.”

    We recently recommended not buying a Pimax headset until the company fulfills its Kickstarter backer orders, which the company claimed a few days ago would happen by month’s end. We plan on reviewing the Pimax 5K+ this month and we’ll bring you impressions of whatever hardware we end up trying at CES 2019 in Las Vegas.

    Image provided by Pimax showing its controllers with a touchpad.

    For reference, here is a photo of the latest version of the Knuckles controllers Valve Corporation is seeding to developers “in quantity” which include both touchpad and thumbstick.

    Tagged with: controller, pimax, valve

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  • Pimax to Showcase its 8K Headset and New Controllers at CES 2019 Both prototype designs will be on display.
  • CES 2019: HTC Vive Cosmos Is A ‘Tethered’ VR Headset, Not A Standalone Like Quest
    vive cosmos controllers ces 2019

    After speaking with Dan O'Brien, General Manager at HTC, about the Vive Cosmos, we have a bit more clarity on what it is exactly.

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  • HTC Vive, Amazon & Mozilla Take VR Web Integration to the Next Level The plan is to make VR and the web even more seamless.
  • Hands-on With HTC Vive Pro Eye at CES 2019 Take a closer look at HTC Vive's new headset.
  • Over 91.6 million PlayStation 4 Units Have Been Sold Worldwide No new update on PlayStation VR sales, however.
  • HTC Vive’s Subscription Service Goes Unlimited With Viveport Infinity Members will get unrestricted access to Viveport's library.