Valve Announces the Vive VR Headset, Built by HTC
A recent rumor is now reality, as Valve has unveiled a new virtual reality called Vive. This VR headset is designed by HTC (dubbed a "strategic partnership" between the two) and will be available later this year, however a developer edition launches this spring to get games supported as fast as possible. The developer edition headset uses two 1200x1080 displays with a 90 frames per second refresh rate, which HTC says helps to eliminate jitter in order to produce lifelike scenes. The displays work together to give you a 360-degree field of view, with HTC claiming the Vive is the first headset capable of a "full room-scale" experience. Users can explore their environment by walking around, interacting with objects, and actually feel like they're in the virtual environment.
Each Vive headset has a gyrosensor, accelerometer, and laser position sensor to track your movement to give that full experience, with head movements tracked to within one-tenth of a degree. The headsets work in tandem with SteamVR, a base station that enables you to walk around the environment instead of moving a joystick. Movements are tracked in an area up to 15 feet by 15 feet, which should be plenty big enough for nearly any room it will be in. HTC does say the Vive is lightweight so wearing it for long periods of time won't tire out users, and while the developer edition features headphone jacks, the consumer edition may have built-in audio. Accomplishing that and staying lightweight will be interesting to see, but it looks like HTC and Valve are getting things figured out.
A pair of wireless controllers come with the developer edition (and presumably the consumer edition) to track hand movements, which can let you do tasks like opening doors and picking up objects to firing a weapon. The Vive is meant to enhance games, but it can also be used for other things, like watching movies or TV shows, or even navigating the Web to view concerts, museums, and more.
More information on the Vive virtual headset will be available during the Game Developers Conference, which runs all this week in San Francisco. HTC and Valve will have some units on hand for attendees to check out.
Source: The Verge