LAS VEGAS—HTC could be pushing forward within the digital actuality arms race. The corporate introduced two new merchandise right here at CES which can be very spectacular steps ahead in VR.
The Vive Professional is an upgraded model of the Vive, whereas the Vive Wi-fi Adaptor accent lastly eliminates the dragging cables which have irritated me since I first placed on an Oculus Rift DK1.
The Vive Professional drastically will increase the show decision over the unique Vive. It options two OLED panels with 1,440-by-1,600 decision for every eye, a big soar in contrast with the Vive’s 1,080-by-1,200 decision. It options the identical 110-degree discipline of view and 90Hz refresh fee, which interprets to a sharper image that retains the identical extensive angle and easy movement because the Vive.
The Vive Professional additionally options two front-facing cameras as a substitute of the one one discovered on the Vive. HTC is remaining quiet about what the stereo cameras symbolize, however they may make the Vive Professional finally work with Home windows Combined Actuality. Home windows Combined Actuality headsets use a stereoscopic digicam system for place monitoring as a substitute of the exterior sensor beacons of the Vive and Oculus Rift, and the addition of a second digicam on the Vive Professional would possibly open the headset as much as compatibility with Microsoft’s VR system. That is theoretical, and compatibility has not been introduced.
HTC additionally confirmed off the brand new Vive Wi-fi Adaptor, a T-shaped gadget that attaches to the Vive or Vive Professional’s head strap and wirelessly connects the headset to your laptop. As an alternative of operating a protracted set of cables to a PC, a a lot shorter size plugs into the adapter, which options an exterior battery pack that may be clipped to a belt or stored in a pocket. It makes use of Intel’s WiGig know-how, connecting to a PC within the 60GHz band as a substitute of the extra widespread 2.four and 5GHz bands. In response to HTC, this can scale back latency and enhance efficiency.
I attempted out the Vive Professional and Vive Wi-fi Adaptor individually at CES. HTC confirmed me the identical digital panorama on a Vive and Vive Professional, and let me examine the experiences. The Vive Professional impressed me with its sharpness, and at present stands as essentially the most crisp VR expertise I’ve tried. I might nonetheless see positive pixelation if I appeared carefully on the show reasonably than what it was exhibiting, but it surely was nonetheless a lot sharper than the Vive.
I additionally performed Doom VFR with a Vive utilizing the Vive Wi-fi Adaptor. It was responsive and correct, providing an similar VR expertise to the wired Vive. I did not discover any lag within the image or movement monitoring. I additionally appreciated the flexibility to maneuver freely while not having to fret a couple of dragging cable, which stays certainly one of my largest complaints about high-end VR.
The Vive Professional and Vive Wi-fi Adaptor are extraordinarily promising, and we’ll take a better take a look at them later this 12 months after we get them into the lab. HTC hasn’t introduced pricing or availability for the Vive Professional or Vive Wi-fi Adaptor, however expects to ship the adaptor Q3 2018.