We continue to gather more information about the new HMD intended for those users who have not made the leap to VR due to the complexity of other viewers.
The announcement of the virtual reality viewer Live Cosmos it has left us with little information about its features and specifications, which we hope will change as we approach the release of developer kits scheduled for the beginning of the year. Cosmos it’s a PC viewer intended for those users who prioritize ease of use and comfort, hence its commitment to positioning without external sensors and a form factor reminiscent of viewers such as Sony or Windows MR. It is not clear at the moment how the connection with the PC will be, given that neither in the devices that have shown in the CES nor in the images that have been shared we see any cables, although it is likely that they bet on the VirtualLink standard.
In addition to use with PC, HTC’s new HMD it will also allow connection with mobile phones through some external method such as a cable or a wireless connection, although they have not communicated what kind of experiences the viewer will offer when using a smartphone. On the device website, they also talk about a modular design that will make it easier to customize the device in the future, a feature that could lead to extensions related even to its mobility.
Vive Cosmos is not the successor to the Vive viewer launched in April 2016, as confirmed by Dan O’Brien (GM of HTC America) to RoadToVR. Cosmos is primarily designed to attract new customers to VR, specifically those who have not made the leap due to the complexity associated with current viewers (external sensors, ergonomics, etc.). HTC will therefore continue with Vive’s standard product line, for which plan “a suitable successor”. In this way, Vive Pro is focused on the business market and Lives for enthusiasts, all without forgetting Focus, which is its commitment to standalone.
As for the rest of the features, in addition to the focus on comfort with the headband-style support, the flexible front for the outside world and the headphones that will be sold separately, we know that you will mount rgb matrix displays to offer an experience with a minimum screendoor, something for which it would not be necessary to exceed the resolution of Vive Pro, since with 1440×1600 (per eye) the effect is considerably reduced with this type of screens with more subpixels, as we have seen in devices such as Neo and G2 of Pico. Cosmos will also include motion controllers that will position thanks to the 4 viewfinder cameras (two on the front and one on each side), similar to Windows MR viewers, since they have lights for tracking.
For the software behind it, HTC plans to offer a complete ecosystem called Live Reality System, which the same GM of HTC China catalog as the future VR operating system. The system, which will debut with Cosmos, will also reach the rest of the company’s viewers and will support OpenVR, as they have confirmed to RoadToVR, although they comment that they are not yet ready to talk about the “exact implementation”. This does not mean that the viewer will not allow us to play the Steam catalog, but it is possible that SteamVR will no longer be a requirement for the operation of its viewers.
At the moment there will be no impressions about Cosmos, since the company is not making demos at CES.