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First Look At HTC's New Cosmos Headset

The HTC Vive Cosmos is HTC’s third generation virtual reality headset, which has been worked on for many years. 

The first generation Vive set the industry standard for room-scale VR when it first came out in 2015. The device was followed by the HTC Vive Pro back in 2016, and then the HTC Vive Focus which launched exclusively in Mainland China last year. 

Yet the issue with HTC’s product line for fans of gaming and leisure, is that Vive Pro and Vive Focus were specifically designed for professional enterprise users in mind. 

Of course, both the Vive Focus and Vive Pro can play games and watch adult VR,  these are not consumer-first VR headset. But if you do have one, it will make your gaming look awesome. 

So the question is why HTC is cooking up yet another new generation VR headset? Apparently, their intention was all about consolidating gamers and social VR. 

With that said, this new HTC headset will be a consumer-friendly VR headset. The device will play games, offer new social VR experiences, and plug and play into HTC’s new Viveport Infinity game subscription platform. 

While details are slim for now, here is what we know so far about the new HTC Vive Cosmos, the latest and possibly the best headset from HTC to date.  

Design

Now the Cosmos actually looks quite similarly to their predecessor headset HTC Vive Pro. The headsets both are darker blue, and has two cameras located on the front. 

These physical similarities imply that we can suspect the Pro’s similar specification with the Cosmos

However, at this time, HTC simply is not ready to talk about any specs on resolution, field of view, or any further details.

As of now, all we know is that the headset has cameras situated on the side, and second generation controllers that appear almost identical to the controllers that Oculus designed for the Oculus Rift. 

HTC spokesperson says that the Vive Cosmos won't require any sensors to operate, this likely implies that these side and front facing camera will be used for tracking purposes.

In regards to tracking, what you may discover is that these controllers comes with light ring, which is a nice visual appearance that may be involved with how the HTC Vive Cosmos track the controllers. 

We also noticed that the Cosmos will still be a tethered headset, which means it will be required to plugged to your PC, unlike the Oculus Go or Quest. Spokesperson from HTC says that this headset will transcend the computer in certain fashions. 

HTC General Manager, Dan O’Brien says that the product will beyond our PCs, but they are not say that is just yet. More details will be revealed over the next few months. However, they want to let HTC customer know that this new headset will be easy to set up. The company heard feedback from customers that previous headsets are hard to set up, and it’s also not easy to take it wherever you go. This new headset aim to solve this aspect of previous challenges.  

It is almost certainly will be pairable with a smartphone too, as a presentation slide show a smartphone next to the Vive Cosmos was demonstrated. This is a big deal if the device can be powered by both computer and smartphones. 

Performance

Unfortunately since the Vive Cosmos was not available to try as a demo, it is hard now to provide any real impression of the headset beyond what was visible, and the rumor we hear from HTC spokespersons. Spokesperson from HTC said that they will be reveal details on the specs later this year in 2019. 

Techrader tried hard to squeeze more information out of O’Brien, and they were able to obtain some crucial information. The first is that the headset will work with the PC and likely a piece of mobile device. 

The could mean various levels of performance according to how the Cosmos is paired up. 

O’Brien, was unable to answer how the Cosmos would fit into the Vive product lineup. The company will keep this information private, at least for now. 

the HTC Vive Pro Eye was also announced at the show, which is a eye-tracking headset. However, the Cosmos will not have the ability to know where you are looking, thus won’t support foveated rendering, which was one of Oculus biggest strength in the current headset competition status. 

If the Cosmos can be dynamically plugged into different devices such as a PC, tablet, or smartphone, it could be a neat solution to what is currently available. However, without knowing exactly what the Vive Cosmos is and what it can achieve, everything is still all just a big question mark.

Early impressions

HTC is being very secretive and mysterious with the Cosmos, at least for now. We know it’s a new headset that will work with a PC and other devices, with that latter part often disclosed with a smirk. 

What we know for sure is that it’s HTC’s goal to offer something for the consumers, a sign that HTC still want a piece of gamers and people simply looking to connect with VR socially. This new annoucement should give VR zealots something to get excited over with the next few months. 

Original article found on Techradar

Author: VR Reporter

I am a hi-tech enthusiast, VR evangelist, and a Co-founder & Chief Director at Virtual Reality Reporter!

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