Virtual Reality: HTC introduces new Vive-Cosmos headset modules

The South Korean company HTC has been offering an around 800 euro virtual reality headset called Vive Cosmos since September 2019. On this basis, the company is now presenting three more devices that are aimed at different target groups.

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The whole thing is intended as a modular product family, in which the faceplates differ: This means the interchangeable unit of display, cameras and sensors that the user has in front of his eyes.

The resolution of the new faceplates is the same as for the first Vive Cosmos. It has a total of 2,800 x 1,700 pixels including an RGB matrix at 90 Hz and enables so-called inside-out tracking with the help of six cameras – which does not require external sensors.

Among other things, the Vive Cosmos Elite is new, which will be available from February 24, 2020 for around 1000 euros with two controllers can be pre-ordered, HTC has not yet said whether delivery will work before the start of Half-Life Alyx on March 23, 2020.

With Cosmos Elite, the detection of the position in space should work better than with the standard Vive-Cosmos because it includes lighthouse tracking in addition to the six cameras, i.e. with two external base stations. The whole thing is compatible with Steam VR, so it should also run with Half-Life Alyx. The manufacturer names the elite as particularly well suited for "Precision games like Pistol Whip, Superhot and Audica",

The second new module for Vive Comos has the additional name Play. According to HTC, it is suitable for simple VR games, among other things, where the highest level of accuracy is not important. To be named "Angry Birds VR: Isle of Pigs, The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets and A Fisherman's Tale", Instead of six, only four cameras are installed in the Play front panel; external sensors are not included.

HTC Cosmos Elite (Image: HTC)

Vive Cosmos Play is also intended for business and museum environments, HTC writes. When the headset is available and what it costs is not yet known. Anyone who finds out that they would rather have the front plate from Elite – with two more cameras – instead of play should only be able to buy this module for around 220 euros.

The third new variant of Vive Cosmos is called XR. It has so-called XR pass-through cameras, with which the user sees an image composed of real and virtual elements – in the end, augmented reality. HTC cites an example of use "VR-based meetings", Vive Cosmos XR should appear as a developer kit in the second quarter of 2020, HTC does not yet reveal the price and other specifications. The Elite front plate also fits XR.

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