Vive Cosmos Wireless Compatibility Shipping Soon, Will Require a New Battery
Starting today, HTC’s new Vive Cosmos will begin selling for $700. This is HTC’s latest PC VR headset and the replacement for the original Vive headset. Like the other Vive PC VR headsets, the Vive Cosmos will also be compatible with the Vive Wireless Adapter but Vive Cosmos owners will need to purchase an extra pack for this to work effectively in the untethered mode. These will be sold in a special Cosmos Compatibility Pack for $50.
The Vive Cosmos compatibility pack includes a battery capable of supplying enough power to drive the Cosmos into a standalone untethered headset.
The Wireless Adapter sells for approximately $300. The adapter is compatible with some desktop PCs that feature an open PCIe slot, transforming the older Vive and Vive Pro models into untethered VR systems. The Adapter normally includes a 10050mAh battery pack which delivers an output that can power the original Vive headset for 2.5 hours wirelessly. But this is not adequate for the Vive Cosmos, according to HTC and the latest headset will therefore require more power to run wirelessly.
The Vive Cosmos is designed differently and more robustly than the earlier Vive headsets. Notably, it is built with six cameras to provide inside-out tracking. HTC has stated that these six cameras along with “other features” are drawing significantly more power than the current Vive Wireless adapter battery can support. For the headset to work wirelessly with the adapter, the new battery is needed to supply it with enough power.
HTC has stated further that the Vive Cosmos headset is processing all the camera tracking data solely within the virtual reality headset and that this camera tracking data is not transmitted to the PC. The approach results in greater privacy protections for users but this also means a much higher headset power consumption than in the previous models. This, too, justifies the need for the extra battery support.
The Cosmos Compatibility Pack will also come with a 21W power bank, a Cosmos connection cable as well as a new pad where a user can attach a headstrap. Although no one has tried yet, it should be possible to also purchase and use compatible batteries from other sources.
It is not yet clear whether the Wireless Adapter will see a price increase when it becomes officially available as a bespoke product and not merely the $50 addon kit that it is at the moment. HTC has stated that it will be providing the 21W battery as part of the adapters in the future.