HTC Vive Says, But Wait There’s More…

HTC Vive Says, But Wait There's More

This was a very interesting BUZZ that I found today and wanted to share with you.

Hot on the heels of the four new Vive Cosmos Headsets, HTC Vive announces new prototype, the Vive Proton. This standalone headset could be Vive’s ticket back to consumers. Previously Vive had said they were more interested in Enterprise solutions for business, seemingly succeeding the consumer market to Oculus. But has that all changed in the last week or so?

As if announcing three new Cosmos headsets wasn’t enough, HTC today also revealed Vive Proton. The company is calling this a “prototype” headset with two different flavors: a standalone VR headset and a ‘VR viewer’ which would be powered by a tethered device like a smartphone.

HTC offered up its first glimpse of Vive Proton today, a new VR headset from the company which aims for a more compact form factor. Few details are being offered at this time and the company is making clear that Proton is still in an early state.

“Project Proton is a prototype of a future a XR glasses-style device from HTC Vive that we hope to hear feedback on from the community as we continue to work on the product,” an HTC spokesperson told Road to VR.

HTC envisions two versions of Proton, a standalone headset which includes its own processing and battery power, and smaller ‘VR viewer’ version which would be powered by a host device like a smartphone or PC.

Image courtesy HTC

Last year the company teased that its Cosmos headset would eventually be able to tether to smartphones, but with no news on that feature with today’s Cosmos announcements, it seems like it has shifted that concept to Proton instead.

Image courtesy HTC

HTC isn’t offering up any specs or release date details for Proton. From photos provided by the company we can spot cameras hidden under the reflective outer shell which would very likely be used for inside-out tracking and possibly hand-tracking. Granted, only computer renderings have been shown so far and it isn’t clear if there’s an actual working prototype just yet.

Though HTC says Proton is a “glasses-style” device, it’s still much closer in size to goggles than glasses. That said, it definitely looks more compact than contemporary VR headsets, including the company’s own Vive Cosmos. This is likely achieved with ‘pancake’-style optics—similar to what we saw from the compact Pico VR Glasses prototype at CES—which can shorten the distance between the lenses and the display (though potentially at the cost of some field of view).

Speaking of the Pico VR Glasses: we were impressed with the form-factor, but felt that 3DOF tracking simply isn’t going to cut it in 2020. HTC has confirmed to Road to VR that Proton will support 6DOF tracking, so that’s definitely a step in the right direction for this compact form-factor.

It isn’t clear at this stage when HTC will commit to bringing Vive Proton to market or at what price point, though the company’s prior standalone VR headset, Vive Focus, starts at $600. Ostensibly the tethered version of the headset would be cheaper than the standalone version (thanks to lack on-board power and compute).

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Order the Insta360 One X here and get a FREE Selfie Stick!
Order the Insta360 One X here and get a FREE Selfie Stick!

What is 360 VR Video?

360 video is a video that is recorded in all directions at the same time with multiple cameras. The videos are stitched together either internally in the camera or externally using special software.

It then forms one spherical video that is controlled by the viewer, enabling them to look up, down, right or left at their discretion.

Is 360 Video Virtual Reality?

I want you to be the judge.

Recommended MicroSD Card for use with the Fusion 360 camera

Recommended MicroSD Card for use with the Fusion 360 camera 

How are you watching your 360 VR Video?

Are you watching on your PC?

Is it Facebook? YouTube? Veer.TV ?

Or better still, are you using your Samsung Galaxy Smartphone with your Samsung Gear VR Headset?

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Or are you using another smartphone with a Google Cardboard? Google Daydream?

Leave a comment below. Let us know what you like or don’t like. If you have seen a 360 VR video that you think is awesome, tell us, and we will feature it.

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