Vive Reality System Will be Vive Cosmos’ new VR Portal

Ruben Fields
January 8, 2019

While the Cosmos features inside-out tracking, the HTC Vive Pro Eye brings you "foveated rendering" to change the way you'll look at games and apps in virtual reality (VR) forever. HTC also shows a depiction of the headset hardware, including a screen you can flip up to see the real world without having to fully remove the headset.

The HTC Vive Pro VR headset was unveiled today at CES 2019 and comes with built-in eye tracking.

In addition to enabling eye control, eye tracking technology opens the door for foveated rendering, which involves only rendering the part of the experience where the user is looking. Where the Pro Eye focuses on enterprise, the Cosmo has a firm target of the average consumer/enthusiast. That's right. This headset tracks your eye movements.

That's ranged from a belief that this brand could take on the iPhone with the HTC Desire (which it did) to charting new territory into virtual worlds with the Vive headset (which offered a possible, exciting view of the future rather than an fantastic product we could buy right now). Some key benefits mentioned potential using the Eye include better product design and user research, better accessibility, increased speed of VR interactions and more efficient CPU and GPU usage. There's also no external tracking required. Lockheed Martin is using the Vive Pro Eye to help train student pilots, for example. Not only that, the new headset can also be used with either smartphone and PC which made it rather versatile.

The company also launched the HTC Vive Cosmos, a simpler and easier headset for people just entering the VR ecosystem.

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"We found that over 85 percent of VR intenders believe that ease of use and set up is the most important factor to consider while purchasing a headset", said Daniel O'Brien, general manager of HTC Vive in the Americas.

Vive Cosmos will come with the debut of Vive Reality System, which offers "core software experiences for a new age of spatial computing".

At some point it's going to have to entice consumers back - and while today hinted at that future, with the launch of Vive Reality Origins and Portal, a dedicated virtual world to interact with chums and jump between games, we still don't have something to get excited about beyond a new demo headset that won't turn on alongside some shiny handles.

HTC says it will reveal more details around pricing and availability for the Cosmos later this year.

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