HTC had been teasing a major technological breakthrough for its VR system at CES 2016 and today it has announced the Vive Pre, it’s the second-generation developer edition of its virtual reality system and it features an all-new front facing camera as well as room-scale technology. The company has also announced new partners that it will collaborate with to extend VR to more applications and consumers.
All components in the second-generation system called Vive Pre have been redesigned from scratch to improve comfort, performance and ergonomics. The headset is more compact now and has an updated strap which provides more stability and balance.
There’s also an improved visual system with image refinements and brighter displayers to provide users with an even deeper sense of presence. Interchangeable form inserts and nose gaskets on the inside ensure optimum comfort for the user while ensuring that it remains compatible with a variety of facial shapes and eyeglasses.
It has a new front facing camera which enables the Vive Pre to bring elements of the real world into the VR realm, it blends physical elements into virtual space, allowing users to take a seat, carry on conversations or find their drink without having to remove the headset.
HTC has also overhauled the Vive’s controllers with better ergonomics, greater balance, softer edges, new textured buttons and grip pads for more comfort. Interaction with objects is made smoother by the new dual stage trigger. The controllers now have rechargeable lithium polymer batteries with micro-USB charging to provide about four hours of runtime on a single charge.
The company has confirmed that it’s going to ship an additional 7,000 units to developers, the commercial launch of the HTC Vive is scheduled for April 2016.