LAS VEGAS: JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT this year's CES might be VR-free, HTC goes and unveils its new 'Vive Cosmos' virtual reality headset.
Teased briefly during the firm's CES press conference on Monday, the Cosmos is a standalone VR headset; it doesn't require external sensors and comes with two front-facing cameras, two side-facing cameras and a pair of fully tracked motion controllers.
Interestingly, HTC says the headset can be powered via a PC or "other methods," hinting that customers can will be able to tap into the power of the smartphones for using the Cosmos on the go.
HTC hasn't told us much else about its next-gen mainstream VR headset, beyond the fact the face-worn gadget will offer "absolute comfort" and "easy setup".
"We found that over 85 per cent of VR intenders believe that ease of use and set up is the most important factor to consider while purchasing a headset," Daniel O'Brien, GM of HTC Vive swooned.
"We believe Cosmos will make VR more easily accessible to those who may not have invested in VR before and also be a superior experience for VR enthusiasts."
There's no word on how much the HTC Vive Cosmos will cost, but it'll be released in early 2019.
HTC also debuted the Vive Pro Eye on Monday, a VR headset that uses built-in eye tracking. This will enable foveated rendering - a feature that enables reduced processing and clearer images that focus on the areas where you're looking, and will allow businesses and developers to "gather more data about their training environments" and 'help optimize computer and VR performance".
Again, HTC stayed tight-lipped on the headset's full specifications, but it's promising that the Pro Eye will deliver boosted VR interaction speeds and more efficient CPU and GPU usage compared to its last-gen professional-grade VR headset.
And finally, HTC announced that it's partnering with Mozilla to make Firefox Reality the default browser on Vive headsets.
"This year, Vive has set out to bring everyday computing tasks into VR for the first time," said HTC Vive vice president Michael Almeraris.
"Through our exciting and innovative collaboration with Mozilla, we're closing the gap in XR computing, empowering Vive users to get more content in their headset, while enabling developers to quickly create content for consumers. µ
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