The first subject that HTC touched on was the all-new Cosmos hardware. Vive is aimed at the VR world, rather than the AR world being targeted by Apple, but AR and VR are kissing cousins, and this is interesting. Eye-tracking is a big deal for VR.
Also announced is an upgrade to the Viveport subscription service, an unlimited subscription for VR allowing members to discover and explore hundreds of virtual destinations anytime with unrestricted access.
The operations of the Viveport expanded by three-fold in terms of its content, subscribers, and sales in 2018 thanks to the availability of over 1,000 VR gaming content, according to HTC Viveport president Rikard Steiber. With the inclusion of eye tracking, the new Vive Pro Eye will allow businesses and developers to gather more data about their training environments, help optimize computer and VR performance, and offer product design and research groups unprecedented levels of feedback.
Based on statements from HTC, it would seem the Vive Pro Eye opens several new doors in regards to accessibility and innovation.
The Vive Pro Eye is due to launch in the second quarter of 2019. This service is available on any Vive device plus the Oculus Rift and other devices in the Wave Eco-system.
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"We found that over 85% of VR intenders believe that ease of use and set up is the most important factor to consider while purchasing a headset", said Daniel O'Brien, GM, Americas, HTC Vive. Though the first developer kits will be available in early 2019, general availability and price will come later in the year.
In the framework of the worldwide exhibition of electronics CES 2019 HTC told about prospects of development of the own device and the ecosystem of virtual reality. "We want VR to feel less like launching apps and instead like stepping between worlds".
"Introducing Vive Cosmos, a new premium PC VR system, and a vision of the virtual future".
But HTC Vive has been working on a 6DoF version, which AMD had on demonstration with an HTC Vive Focus to showcase its ReLive livestreaming technology.
What makes the HTC Vive Cosmo special though is the use of cameras on the outside which means there's no need for additional lighthouses or tracking equipment to be kept around the area of use.