HTC VIVE announced at CES 2019 new hardware, software, and content offerings.
The company announced VIVE Pro Eye, a new headset with built-in eye tracking. In addition, VIVEPORT, HTC’s global app store for VR content, announced unlimited subscription access with Viveport Infinity. HTC also unveiled a developer kit for a future headset, VIVE COSMOS, created with a new level of accessibility and ease of use. Revealed alongside Cosmos, the ‘Vive Reality System’ reimagines what VR should look like in the age of spatial computing, with fresh ways to display content and transport users between immersive environments.
Vive Pro Eye
Vive Pro, built to meet the needs of the professional VR user, just got even better with integrated eye tracking on the new Vive Pro Eye—giving users new levels of accessibility, including gaze-oriented menu navigation and removing the need for controllers. With the inclusion of eye tracking, the new Vive Pro Eye will allow businesses and developers to gather more data about their training environments and help optimize computer and VR performance.
Major League Baseball (MLB) debuted eye tracking on Vive Pro Eye at CES 2019. Eye tracking is integrated into the “MLB Home Run Derby VR” video game, allowing users full menu control without a traditional controller. Fans can experience the new Vive Pro Eye starting in 2019.
Vive Pro Eye is targeted at the enterprise market. It will also benefit developers by minimizing computing resources needed to render high-end VR environments.
The new Vive Pro Eye will launch in the second quarter of 2019.
Also announced today is the biggest upgrade to the Viveport subscription service to date. The first unlimited subscription service for VR, Viveport Infinity allows members to discover and explore hundreds of virtual destinations anytime with unrestricted access.
“When we first launched our Subscription service, we gave consumers the ability to try 5 titles a month. Now with Viveport Infinity, we’re offering our members the best value in VR content with 100x more choice, all at one low price,” said Rikard Steiber, President, Viveport.
Starting Vive Day, April 5, 2019, members can download and play any of the 500+ titles in the Viveport Infinity library with no restrictions. With Viveport Infinity, members will be able to try hits from indie developers or shorter experiences they were reluctant to pay for while keeping their favorites like Seeking Dawn and Torn downloaded and ready to play. Members will be able access Viveport Infinity across all current and future Vive devices as well as the Oculus Rift and other devices in the Wave Eco-system.
Unveiled for the first time today, Vive Cosmos is the newest VR headset from Vive, offering comfort, and ease of set-up. With no external base stations required, Vive Cosmos maximizes flexibility of usage space, whether at home or on the go, and has the capability to be powered by more than a traditional gaming PC.
Cosmos will be the first Vive headset to feature the “Vive Reality System,” an entirely new design experience for VR.
HTC will first offer developer kits of Vive Cosmos in early 2019.
Vive Reality System
HTC’s Creative Labs team also revealed Vive Reality System, a completely reimagined way for people to experience the virtual world—encompassing the total user experience from the moment a headset is put on to how content is interacted with.
“Our philosophy has always been focused on developing great products and experiences that create a natural and effortless bridge from the real world to the virtual world and with Vive Reality System we set out to reimagine Vive’s core software experience to meet these needs,” said Drew Bamford, VP, Creative Labs, HTC Vive. “The tools and environments that make up Vive Reality System aim to make spatial computing accessible to everyone, wherever their journey into immersive worlds takes them. We want VR to feel less like launching apps and instead like stepping between worlds.”
The Vive Reality System includes both operational and experiential elements impacting the entire Vive product portfolio and experienced first on the Vive Cosmos. As part of the project, Vive announced a deal with Mozilla to launch the first Vive-dedicated VR browser.
The Vive Reality System will power experiences across the entire Vive product portfolio and will be available first on the Vive Cosmos released later this year.
Vive is also teaming up with Amazon Sumerian to bring true web VR to the market. Through this collaboration, HTC Vive developers will be able to create VR-optimized websites, without requiring specialized programming experience. Using Sumerian, developers can quickly concept, test and publish VR-optimized websites that are immediately available to internal testers, authenticated users, or for public use. In addition to VR sites, AWS and HTC plan to integrate Sumerian with Viveport for publishing any VR experience to the platform, making them available to end users faster than previously possible.