HTC’s new Vive Pro is officially available for preorder (ships April) and promises some exciting new features. This upgrade will really up the game in Virtual Reality headsets. At SeeSaw Labs, we’ve been using HTC’s Vive for more than two years now, and have been eagerly waiting to see what an upgrade would bring.
We’re looking forward to HTC’s continued innovation efforts because they communicate a true understanding of how to overcome the friction that can exist for new-users and commercial applications. Delivering a comfortable, intuitive experience is the key to continued VR adoption.
This new upgrade brings significant improvements in screen resolution and overall audio experience, as well as some very cool integration support features. Here is the skinny on each:
The first big change is an upgrade to the screen resolution. It’s now in 3k with a 37% increase in pixels per inch. This should remove any feeling of the “screen door effect” and really contribute to overall immersion. This improvement will also increase in-experience text readability, potentially opening to door for greater commercial applications where larger amounts of text may be necessary.
Integrated, Spatial Sound
HTC has also simplified audio for Virtual Reality. Their integrated headphones also offer a bit more structure to the unit, allowing the user to simply put on a single device, with everything ready to go; if you’ve ever tried to find and put in earbuds with a VR viewer on your face (or even better a client’s face), you’ll instantly see the value here.
Best Feature, Isn’t Pro Specific
The most exciting announcement is the addition to the Vive Pro is wireless capability, set to release later this year. While 3rd party devices have cropped up to support this feature, they are very expensive and often quite bulky. The Vive Wireless Adapter is an exciting step forward towards improving the overall immersion of the experience. We believe this feature will be especially helpful in making first-time users’ experiences feel more natural (especially in commercial applications). Note that the Wireless Adapter will work with both the new Vive Pro and original Vive models!
Other Updates on the Way
Support for extended play areas, obstacle identification, and multiple players in the same space bring further cool opportunities to commercial applications, allowing for innovative, guided experiences. More accurate tracking can be achieved through linking a multitude of lighthouse sensors. This will provide for a better environment to support virtual objects that have real world counterparts.
The Vive Pro is a big step forward. It’s finally delivering the type of experience everyone hoped for when first imagining virtual reality. We believe that this push forward towards a more “put it on and go” type experience (no headphones or cords to worry about) will allow for more innovative experiences and our clients to more easily put the technology to use.
Find out more about the Vive Pro from their official site.