At this years World Mobile Congress show held in Barcelona, there was a lot going on. But there was one particular event that really grabbed the attention of many that visited it.
The event we are talking about here is the demonstration of the HTC Vive. So what made this particular event so special this year? The reason that this event was the one to be visited the most was down to the introduction of a new VR platform. This virtual reality platform along with its hardware is designed to be used on PCs only.
A VR headset designed by HTC and Valve
But it isn’t a VR headset designed by HTC alone, they have created it in conjunction with Valve. But what is so special about this one when there are so many already on the market?
Well let us explain a little more about what it is like.
Those who chose to try out this headset were lead to room that was almost bare of furniture. The walls were white. It was a room similar that you would experience in the Portal game. The only furniture available were some chairs. One of which when wearing the headset the person would sit.
As a prototype the HTC Vive didn’t look that elegant, in fact it looks quite clumsy. Within it are small light sensors that help to track the movement of the head. The headset then worked in conjunction with laser boxes that were mounted at ceiling height in the room. But Dan O’Brien from HTC confirmed that the version consumers can buy later this year will have IR blasters.
As well as the headset it will come with a set of controllers which work in conjunction with the systems base station. The actual controllers can be split in two. This then turns them into 2 motion sensing wands. If that wasn’t enough the ends of each controller open out to reveal a small bracket studded with sensors. It is hard to explain just what they look like. Imagine if you can the Nintendo Wii remote, Sony’s Move controller and the upcoming Steam controller from Valve all in one. When all are combined together you get a good idea of what was being held by those at the event.
Related article: Barcelona Mobile World Congress 2015: The Edge Of Innovation
Not only does the base station determine where your head is in relation to your environment, but also your hands a body. Unlike some other virtual reality systems with this one you have the opportunity to move around freely. This is what HTC and Valve are referring to as “360 degree room scale VR.”
Imagine what it would be like if you could explore Barcelona without ever having to leave your own living room. What a great way to decide where you would like to go when you wish to visit this amazing city for real.