IT&Software

HTC unveils higher-resolution Vive Pro VR headset with built-in headphones

HTC unveils higher-resolution Vive Pro VR headset with built-in headphones

Vive Pro customers won't have to purchase an audio kit like with the original Vive, and HTC also included dual microphones to the headset for noise cancellation. The refreshed headset, which now has no price, will arrive in "Q1" of 2018, and it adds one huge upgrade, and a few small ones, to an otherwise familiar-looking Vive.

When HTC created its first Vive headset, it turned to Samsung for the advanced display panels featured in the device. That's essentially the same as the resolution of the display used by the original HTC Vive, which delivers 2160×1200 for both eyes.

Vive Pro's new head-strap was built with enhanced ergonomics and comfort, including a sizing dial for a more balanced headset that decreases weight on the front of the headset. It works with both the Vive and the Vive Pro and will be coming sometime this summer. The trackable space is up to 10m x 10m. Consumer Technology Association forecasted Monday the VR market will see record growth in 2018 with AR/VR headsets and eyewear selling 4.9 million units in the USA in 2018 (a more than 25 percent increase from 2017).

We'll have to wait and see whether the Pro's headset fit or built-in audio offer significant improvements over last year's headphone-strap release, or whether the Pro's lenses or other elements receive noticeable upgrades. That's a 78-percent jump from the original Vive headset's screen resolution of 2160x1200.

The built-in earphones are a permanent attachment
The built-in earphones are a permanent attachment

Additionally, HTC announced an update for Viveport that will replace the existing 2D catalog the service provides. It adds an in-line amplifier to boost sound and integrated high-fidelity headphones for better immersion. This resolution increase should help with clearer text rendering and overall graphics, and the bump puts the Vive Pro beyond the Oculus Rift or Windows Mixed Reality headsets. HTC did not say what thier function is.

HTC said Vive Pro will be available to existing customers in Q1 2018, and a developer version will be available after.

As one might expect, Vive Video is one of the most-downloaded and highest-rated app on Steam VR, and is also available on Google Daydream, in addition to HTC Vive head-mounted displays (HMDs), and in the future the Vive Wave. The new headset would also be available as a full kit, presumably with updated base stations, later this year.

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