Credit to: HTC via The Verge

Following the successful release of their Vive Focus to VR fans in China, HTC has freshly announced their new VR headset dubbed, the Vive Pro. On the eve of CES 2018, Dan O’Brien, GM of Vive Americas, has riled up interest in their next wave of HMD and wireless technology. We’re on the edge of our seats!

Vive Pro – What We Know

The Vive is one of the most successful VR head-mounted displays on the market, is a direct competitor with the Oculus Rift, and has innovative tools like the Vive Trackers and VR gaming accessories like the Hyperkin Hyper Blaster and their Racket Sports Set. Now it’s time to introduce our readers to the Vive Pro headset.

Sound

The Vive Pro is expected to have sound boost with high-fi earphones that increase the immersive factor of VR. So, you’ll hear music, character dialogue, storytelling, and experience action and combat scenes in 3D audio so you won’t feel disconnected from a game or experience. The headset is also equipped with two microphones for clearer voice pickup and less background noise coming through.

Comfort and Fit

The Vive was around 470 grams (a little over a pound) and the Vive Pro is said to be lighter in weight with no set spec weight, which is great news for people looking for a lighter VR display or who have neck and shoulder sensitivities. The Vive Pro is said to have a more balanced fit and comes with an integrated sizing dial for comfort. The Pro is said to have a “dual-OLED displays for a crisp picture resolution of 2880 x 1600 combined” and a “78% increase in resolution over the current Vive HMD.” High-end displays can improve the wearers overall enjoyment of a VR experience or game by reducing “the screen door effect.”

Compatibility

This Vive Pro headset is said to work with the 1.0 and 2.0 Vive base stations, so no need to repurchase stations, you can use up to 4 stations at once. The Vive Pro is being sold as an HMD only, so your old Vive controllers are also very likely compatible with it. Keep reading for more on compatibility!

Tracking

The new headset doesn’t have “world scale tracking” but it does have up to 10m x 10m (or a little over 32 feet x 32 feet) of room space to explore and exercise in! You will need 4 base stations to cover this amount of area. This expansion is a complete upgrade for VR gyms, arcades, and large-scale VR experiences with space for it. 

Wireless Adaptor  

Vive Wireless Adaptor turns Vive and Pro models into Wireless VR. Credit to: HTC

If you have an HTC Vive or are going to buy the Vive Pro — get ready. In the future (Summer, Q3) you’ll be able to purchase a Vive wireless adaptor! This handy plug-in is reported to have low-lag, which is important for turning a tethered headset like the Vive into a cord-free one. It’s also said to be built with Intel WiGig and has 60 GHz for reduced interference.

Turning a tethered headset into a wireless one is magical and feels like a gift to the public who have invested in the Vive. Fit gamers and gyms who use VR as a path to fitness will want to purchase the adaptor when it’s released because it will get rid of the annoyance of wires. Fit gamers, VR athletes, and exercise enthusiasts will absolutely enjoy that their heads won’t be tugged backward by overhead wire control systems. Also, fitness enthusiasts looking to get down on the floor and do some crunches, push-ups or burpees can likely do so without wires getting in the way.

Gaming and Software

Credit to: HTC via Engadget (Edgar Alvarez)

Rikard Steiber, President of Viveport, discussed the brand’s massively successful VR game hub with Engadget reporters stating, “Right now there are more than 2,000 experiences on Viveport, but Steiber expects that figure to hit 3,000 this year.” Vive compatible games like Fallout 4 VR and Doom VFR can already be accessed on Viveport and Steam VR, which opens up the floodgates for even more VR fitness games and experiences with Valve’s Steam VR.

Vive + Vimeo

As they do in Viveport, Vive will now let members preview content using Vive Video before they view or buy it. They are also partnering with Vimeo, the video hosting site, so 50 million content creators can have their videos viewed on computer desktops, smartphones, and now in VR. This is great news for trainers or fit individuals to showcase their own 360 and VR videos for viewers and fans to watch their channel in virtual reality.

The VR Wrap-up

CES 2018 and HTC are already delivering exciting news and it hasn’t even started yet! Today the HTC Vive Pro was announced for release at an unknown date and price (bummer!), while VR fans can get pumped up for the Summer release of the Wireless Adaptor. The strategic move to turn the original Vive into a wireless headset is genius because it doesn’t leave committed VR users in the dust and the new Vive Pro will serve as a souped-up version of the original. It’s a VR fitness win-win!


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