The HTC Vive Pre Is An Updated Vive Revealed At CES 2016
HTC delivered something so well during the CES 2016 with its updated version of the Vive: a VR headset called the Vive Pre. What sets the Vive Pre from its level of sophistication in comparison with the likes of the Oculus Rift, is that it packs some nifty features that gives it an edge in usability and convenience.
The Vive Pre, which is still a developer kit at this point, requires a pair of handheld controllers and two room sensors. It makes for a larger and presumably much more expensive package, but those extras are what give you a amazingly accurate sense of real-time “presence” in the virtual world.
The wireless controllers are meant to be held in each hand. Each has a trigger for the index finger, a clickable touchpad for the thumb, and a home button beneath the pad. Battery life is rated at 4 hours.
The two grapefruit-size room sensors, called Base stations, continuously read the position of your body and can support a “virtual space” within a cube measuring 16-foot diagonal. Those sensors are what really separate the Vive from other VR experiences, letting you walk around in the virtual world – however you’re still going to be attached to your PC where the Vive Pre gets its VR power.
The new Vive headset integrates a camera, which will help show the “real” world around you with a simple press of a button. When you want to kind of “get out” of the virtual setting, just double-click the home button beneath the thumb, and suddenly green outlines and muted shapes surround you, which you’ll recognize as the room you’re in. It’s a useful feature, but you’re not actually out of the virtual world. It’s just that the Vive Pre is able to give you a view of the outside world overlaid on the virtual landscape. The bottomline here is that being able to switch in and out of VR without taking off the headset is a super convenient feature.
Another new feature of the updated Vive is called “chaperone”, which will automatically create show an outline of the real world whenever you wander too far out of the play zone.
Paired with the useful new features, the new headset itself is very comfortable and relatively lightweight. Unfortunately as of now, HTC hasn’t committed to a release date or pricing on the Vive Pre, but company reps said the consumer version will be revealed in the “coming weeks” along with a pre-order announcement. To experience the Vive Pre is the same as what you need for the Rift: you’ll need a desktop PC that packs a processing power punch.
For more information on the HTC Vive Pre, please visit the following websites: