InnovationWearable Tech

CES 2016 – HTC Updates Vive VR Headset

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Vive Pre will allow developers to create next-generation VR apps and experiences

HTC has revealed an upgraded new version of its Vive virtual reality headset targeted at developers.

Developed alongside video games company Valve, HTC says that ‘each and every component’ in the Vive Pre has been redesigned to provide better comfort, ergonomics, and performance.

The device has an entirely new design to its predecessor, featuring a more compact build with an updated strap design that provides greater stability and balance. HTC says that the Vive Pre can also be easily adjusted to suit a variety of facial shapes, and will even work for people who wear glasses.

Immersive

HTC Vive PreThe HTC Vive Pre also now features a front facing camera, allowing users to do more both inside and outside the virtual world by blending physical elements into the virtual space.

The Vive’s controllers have also been overhauled and enhanced with updated ergonomics and softer edges, greater balance, new textured buttons, and grip pads for a more comfortable feel in the hand, and are powered by integrated rechargeable lithium polymer batteries with micro-USB charging that provides over four hours of life on a single charge.

“When we first announced Vive ten months ago we had an ambitious goal of fundamentally changing the way people communicate and interact with the world – forever, said Cher Wang, chairwoman and CEO, HTC.

“Since then Vive has received a phenomenally positive reception from media, industry commentators, consumers, and the hundreds of partners and brands we’ve been working with to deliver inspiring and dynamic VR content. For too long, the promise of virtual reality has been little more than a promise. Today we stand on the precipice of a new era. Vive is creating a world where the only limit is human imagination.” 

VR development

The first iteration of the HTC Vive has still not seen a public release yet, despite being revealed at Mobile World Congress (MWC) last March. The company said last month the unit will be rolled out to developers early this year and will be followed by a commercial launch in April 2016.

To support his, HTC and Valve added today that they will make an additional 7,000 units available to developers before this date.

Recent figures from analyst firm IDC estimate that 45.7 million wearable devices will be sold this year, up 133.4 percent from last year’s figure. The rise is only set to continue over the next few years, with IDC estimating 126.1 million units will be sold in 2019.

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