At MWC 2015 during HTC’s Utopia in Progress keynote, everyone was completely surprised with the announcement of Vive. This is HTC’s amazing new VR headset/experience that was developed in partnership with Valve. Yep. That Valve.
Since the keynote, I’ve actually had a chance to experience Vive and I thought I’d share a little bit of that with you. Let me tell you… It was incredible. This was definitely the most immersive VR experience I have ever tested…
HTC’s Vive is a system of many parts. Unlike Samsung’s Gear VR, Vive does not utilize a smartphone for anything. The system is connect to a PC which will handle all of the processing power. There are cameras and laser-based motion-tracking sensors that sit in two parts of a room which detect the many sensors on the front side of the Vive to provide life-like VR. The main portion of the Vive unit straps to your head and is essentially plugged into the Matrix of the interface along with a computer to sync up the two wireless controllers sticks for your hands. Getting the hardware setup and strapped on seemed overwhelming at first, but it really took no time at all.
The camera and sensor boxes that can easily fit on top of a bookshelf in a room will detect your every movement and keep you within the boundaries of the virtual world as seen through the HTC Vive. Obviously this is all very hard to explain without actually trying it for yourself, but this was really the best VR I’ve experienced. I felt as if I could pull out my smartphone and take a picture of the virtual environment, but sadly I couldn’t as it was all computer generated.
To learn more about HTC’s Vive and my experience, check out our video below:
I was taken through various demos in the experience room at HTC’s booth during MWC 2015 and all of them left me wanting more. Some of the environments tricked me into thinking that I was no longer wearing a VR headset, but stuck within a crazy virtual universe. If the demos that I experienced are anything close to what ships later this year, competitors in the VR space need to take some notes and head back to the drawing board.
Throughout the demo, I was able to walk around in a 3D environment and interact with objects within it. IT was unlike anything else I have tried. The two controllers have a button/trigger system that allow you to pick up items, throw them, interact with other animated characters, and much more.
The hardware worn on your head isn’t any lighter or slimmer than most other mainstream VR headsets, but the experience is immersive enough to easily make you forget about any cables, sensors, or headgear. I wish I could translate my feelings and sights into a better description of Vive, but this is definitely something to look forward to in 2015.
Vive is simply amazing. Prior to my Vive experience, I never thought of VR tech being all that cool. Sure, it’s ground-breaking technology right now, but none of them had left me as impressed as Vive. It’s obviously something you’ll need to test out for yourself, but take my word for it, Vive is incredible.
This is a pretty amazing future that HTC is building with the Vive and along with partnerships from leading companies in the industry. I think the Vive has a lot of potential to take over the VR game and your living room. HTC’s Vive is expected to be available sometime before the end of 2015.