20 March 2018
We know that virtual reality (VR) has the potential of being the next big thing in the world of technology if the tech giants can get everything correct which includes both hardware and software among other things. HTC is one of those giants which have shown a keen interest in doing so with the hope of making billions of dollars. While it's Vive is already one of the best VR headsets that you can get, it has now announced an upgraded version of the same, Vive Pro, at CES 2018 in Las Vegas.
The HTC Vive Pro is a direct successor to the original Vive and comes with a bunch of major upgrades. The most significant change is the addition of dual 3.5-inch AMOLED displays with a combined resolution of 2880 x 1600 pixels. This is a 78% bump over predecessor's resolution (2160 x 1200 pixels). In theory, this should offer you clearer and sharper viewing quality with reduced "screen door" effect. It is worth mentioning that the field of view (FOV) is still 110-degrees on the successor.
The team has also added dedicated Hi-Res certified headphones with built-in amplifier for a premium audio experience so that users can have an immersive VR experience. These headphones are removable which means you can use the one you have if you want to. It a new headstrap for offering an improved and "more balanced headset" along with comfort. HTC has further added dual-microphones for active noise cancellation as well as dual front-facing cameras.
Alongside the Vive Pro VR headset, HTC unveiled the Vive Wireless Adaptor for offering a wireless VR experience. It is powered by Intel WiGig technology and works on the 60GHz band. The good thing is that it will work with both the original and latest Vive VR headsets. As for the pricing and availability, HTC did not say anything about the Vive Pro but mentioned that the Vive Wireless Adaptor will start shipping in the third quarter of 2018.
Apart from announcing hardware products, HTC talked about two new software-based services Viveport VR and integration of Vimeo videos with Vive Video. Starting with Viveport VR, it showcased an improved version of the service with a better and more intuitive way of browsing VR apps and contents. The team has simply migrated the previous 2D browsing experience into a completely immersive VR experience. It has also added VR Previews which is a way of allowing users to experience a VR app/game before deciding whether to buy the same.
The next change is the updated Vive Video player with Vimeo integration. It means users will now have a wider catalog of high-quality videos to view through their VR headsets compatible with the app. It should be noted that the team will be offering a curated collection of Vimeo videos to offer best possible immersive experience. Vive Video has already been made available for HTC Vive and Google Daydream platform users. For those who use Vive Wave, they will have to wait for some more time.