"HTC Vive Pre" VR Headset Revealed at CES 2016

Discussion in 'News' started by Omnomnick, Jan 5, 2016.

  1. Omnomnick

    Omnomnick Retired Lead Content Creator
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    As expected, CES 2016 has seen Valve and HTC unveil the "Vive Pre", the second generation developer kit for the HTC Vive revealed last year at GDC. While we previously had a pretty leaky look at the headset and the newly-designed controllers, today's unveiling has really drawn back the curtain on this new model and it's enhanced features.

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    All of the headset's components feature a smoother and clearly more finalised design, with the now-smaller base stations appearing almost entirely black and featureless. While the controllers have had the biggest redesign in terms of ergonomic use, they are apparently nearly functionally identical to their older counterparts, with the only real improvements arriving in the form of new built-in lithium batteries and a "dual-stage" trigger making it easier and more natural to interact with objects.

    The headset itself actually features the biggest changes, with new rotating hinges presumably making it easier to take the headset on and off while limiting potential damage to the now-tougher head straps. Even so, it sounds as if you won't have to take off the headset nearly as often, as the speculated front-facing camera is in fact real, and allows the real-world to be shown to the user of the headset, augmented-reality style. A black and white, opaque preview of the real-world can now be used instead of the exterior area boundaries, allowing the user to know exactly what it is they may be about to bump into, while a full Chaperone mode can display the real-world in full, allowing you to move around, sit down, or even eat and drink without having to worry about not being able to see.

    The headset has also been improved in other ways, featuring a more compact design, with a brighter display, and "image refinements" that provide "increased clarity", according to an HTC representative speaking to ArsTechnica.


    One thing missing from the headset that was rumoured to be included closer to launch is a pair of headphones, which are strangely missing. It's possible that HTC and Valve have given up on this idea in order to allow users to pair the headset with their own audio equipment, or maybe they just haven't gotten around to it yet. Considering Valve's largest team is currently working exclusively on virtual reality, this latest reveal makes us even more excited for what the future of the Vive may bring.
     
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  2. thermitecenter

    thermitecenter Headcrab

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    All this goes a long time ideas and applications in some fields ... amazing HTCvive incredible surprises ... always better to admire VR....
     
  3. bad@chaos

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    Has there been any educated guesses for the MSRP yet?
     
  4. Ennui

    Ennui The Freeman

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    A lot. I just preordered an Oculus for $676 USD after tax/shipping and that doesn't include motion controllers (and the Oculus's motion tracking system is far less complex than the lighthouse base stations are).

    I would be shocked if the entire Vive + controllers + basestations package was less than the Rift, and I wouldn't be surprised if MSRP for the entire package is $1000 or more. Being an early adopter of VR is not cheap.
     
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  5. Eejit

    Eejit The Freeman

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    Oculus motion tracking is probably more expensive than Lighthouse if you think about it.

    Constellation requires 1 (or more) high-def infrared cameras with a high refresh rate.
    Lighthouse uses simple IR sensors and the basestations, which are pretty straightforward.

    Constellation was designed to track the DK2 HMD seated only, once you start looking at moving around and tracking multiple objects (e.g. controllers) it scales poorly in terms of cost (even though it works fine) because you need higher resolution to distinguish between the IR LEDs as distance or FOV required increases.
     
  6. Ennui

    Ennui The Freeman

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    Solid point, but I still feel like Vive is going to cost more than (or at the bare minimum as much as) the Oculus.

    Not to mention the DK2 was pretty cheap in comparison, so I doubt that's the expensive part. Has the constellation hardware been improved since the DK2? I have a DK2 but have never been impressed with the motion tracking, or maybe I just haven't seen a compelling implementation of it.
     
  7. Eejit

    Eejit The Freeman

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    DK2 had a far simpler IR camera compared to that needed for Touch.

    They need higher resolution along with the high refresh rate in order to track multiple LEDs further apart and at longer distances.

    Constellation works the same in principle, but it's been applied a bit differently. IR LEDs on the back strap of the HMD as well as on the face, and on the Touch Controllers.
     

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