HTC's Viveport Infinity subscription offers unlimited access to VR

HTC Announces Vive Cosmos, A VR Headset That Can Seemingly be Powered by Your Phone

HTC Vive Pro Eye wants you to use your eyes to navigate the VR world

At its CES press conference, HTC Vive just announced two new VR headsets: the HTC Vive Cosmos and HTC Vive Pro Eye.

The Pro Eye has "foveated rendering" which will supposedly give you a better visual quality inside the headset.

Eventually, the Vive Reality System will power all of HTC Vive's hardware products, with the first being Vive Cosmos which is slated for launch by the end of 2019.

Eye-tracking technology is exactly what it sounds like: hardware baked into the device that monitors where the user looks within the virtual environment. The Vive Pro Eye has a similar design as last year's Vive Pro, though it's gotten upgrades under the hood to incorporate eye tracking.

Foveated rendering reduces the amount of computing resources that are needed to render a high-quality VR experience for the user.

Viveport Infinity ces 2019 htc cosmos

The thing is, when something like the HTC Vive Cosmos is launched and it's not fully explained, it's incredibly frustrating because it doesn't give VR the platform it deserves.

Instead of using hand controllers to navigate content, the headset uses "gaze-oriented menu navigation". The point is that it should allow businesses to make better training simulations. For example, the VR software Lockheed Martin uses to train new pilots will use eye tracking to examine reaction times and focus. The reason this is so frustrating is that this could be what people have been waiting for, an HTC Vive headset that's powered by your smartphone, that you can take with you on the go and get these immersive worlds whenever you need them. It's called Vive Cosmos. "We believe Cosmos will make VR more easily accessible to those who may not have invested in VR before and also be a superior experience for VR enthusiasts".

The company unveiled a new Vive Pro Eye headset, which has eye tracking features built directly in, eliminating the need for external controllers. Dan O'Brien, HTC Vive's GM of Americas, says the Vive Pro Eye came about because developers were asking to do more.

Finally, HTC also announced an exciting update for members of the Viveport subscription service: starting on Vive Day, April 5, 2019, Viveport will move to an unlimited subscription model known as Viveport Infinity.

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