While we’ve seen significant development in VR and AR for business, consumer interest in virtual reality, in particular, has not enjoyed this same momentum. Vive seeks to re-energize the market with a new, more enriching VR experience right out of the box. The Vive Cosmos is reported to feature a clearer display, a completely re-worked inside-out tracking system and newly designed dual 6DoF controls. Will the Cosmos engage premium VR users and help re-ignite the industry?
The Vive Cosmos
There’s been a considerable buzz about the Vive Cosmos and the improvements over current generation Vive headsets. We caught a glimpse of the Cosmos at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Expo in Las Vegas. The company boasts that the device minimizes the dreaded screen door effect that’s common in most consumer VR with enhanced RGB displays. This clearer display should give developers more options when it comes to building immersive environments while providing users with more detailed virtual interactions.
The Cosmos features a flip-up design so the user can enter and exit virtual realms with ease. This is ideal as many people tend to feel a little vulnerable when they’re wearing a VR headset. The Cosmos helps new users adapt to virtual environments and allows seasoned pros to navigate with ease. At a glance, the Cosmos looks a heck of a lot like the Vive Pro headset but real details on the specs are still a bit of a mystery. There’s a pair of front-facing cameras on this headset, plus side-facing cameras but we don’t have the scoop on
Using a modified crown design, the Vive Cosmos has a comfortable and adjustable fit that’s designed to feel light and breathable. Vive had extended use in mind when the folks down in R&D we’re toiling over this one.
Cosmic 6DoF Controls
An improved tracking system provides an out-of-the-box experience using a pair of 6DoF controls. The inside-out tracking means no more need for external sensors mapping out your room and tracking your every movement. This gives the Cosmos more versatility and makes it more accessible to new VR users. Set up will be considerably easier with the Cosmos and you’ll also be able to take this baby “out and about” to show off the newest virtual playground.
Before you start thinking Standalone headset, hold on there buckaroo. The Cosmos will still need to be connected to a VR-ready PC in some regard, but an HTC spokesperson has teased that the Cosmos is designed to be compatible with devices other than a PC. No specifics were shared but we can bet they plan on making this headset work with your smartphone too.
The new controllers are what’s really grabbing everyone’s attention. They feature a new wrap-around design very similar to what we’ve seen with the Oculus Quest (to be released in 2019). The visually striking illuminated shell display across each control isn’t just there for show. Besides looking like bad-ass lighting bolts, this new design delivers accurate, latency-free control. This evolution in control is a serious departure from the chunky design of the original Vive controls.
The new wrap-around loop extends upward and each ergonomic controller has all the joysticks and buttons you’ll ever need.
Exploring with your Cosmos?
The Vive Cosmos shows some serious potential. The evolved inside-out tracking and improved controls should appeal to seasoned VR users and the new more accessible design should make setup quick and easy. Enhanced RGB displays and other modular features might just make the Cosmos the next big thing in virtual reality. No official release date has bee announced but we can expect later in 2019. While HTC has suggested the Cosmos may not completely depend on your PC, can we expect a satisfying experience with this headset when it’s powered by a Smartphone?
5G or Bust!