HTC Vive Cosmos claims crown for clearest consumer VR headset
After briefly teasing it at CES back in January, HTC has now fully whipped the covers off the new VR headset, the Vive Cosmos. The new headset features inside-out tracking, improved displays, and a modular design.
Visuals are key to selling the illusion of VR, and the new headset boasts a combined resolution of 2880 x 1700 across both LCD eyepieces. That’s 88 percent higher than the original Vive’s 2160 x 1200 resolution, and a marginal increase of 100 vertical pixels over the Vive Pro, letting the Cosmos claim the crown for highest resolution of the current generation of VR headsets.
To help cut back the “screen door effect,” the Cosmos has more subpixels to better smooth over the visuals, which according to HTC gives it 40 percent better lens clarity over the original model. It all flashes by at a silky 90 frames per second.
On the outside, the new headset flips the tracking system around. Rather than placing “lighthouse” sensors around the room to monitor where the headset and controllers are, the Cosmos packs six cameras into the visor itself. These keep an eye out for obstacles and walls as well as tracking the controllers, making the system easier to set up and more portable.
Portability might not sound like an important feature for a VR system, which normally just stays in your living room. But HTC has cryptically been using phrases like “on the go” –suggesting you could take the Cosmos to the office or a friend’s place. Promo videos have also hinted that it could have the option to run off a phone as well as a regular old PC, but at this stage this is still speculation.
There are a few other new usability improvements too. The Cosmos has a flip-up design so you can quickly exit the virtual world to return to the real one, without taking off the headset. A new venting system should make longer play sessions more comfortable, and the face plate is swappable, with HTC hinting at a modular ecosystem in future.
Pricing and availability details haven’t been confirmed yet, but it’s believed that the Vive Cosmos will be released later this year.
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