Today sees the announcement of the HTC Vive. The Taiwanese smartphone maker lifted the lid on its new virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) at the 2015 Mobile World Congress (MWC), surprisingly revealing that it had partnered with Valve to produce the device. Traditionally the announcement of a VR HMD is followed by years of speculation about a consumer release, but HTC has already confirmed when various versions of the HTC Vive will be shipping, as well as the first specs on the developer kit for the device.
The HTC Vive developer kit features two 1200×1080 screens, one for each eye, with refresh rates of 90 frames per second. In terms of audio, a jack can be located at the side of the HMD so that users can attach their own headphones to the device.
The most critical factor of the HTC Vive developer edition, however, is the kit’s tracking and room scale features. The kit has a gyrosensor, accelerometer and laser position sensor in order to track the rotation of the user’s head on both axes. The company claims that this is measured to 1/10th of a degree and tracks users in a 15 feet by 15 feet space. The kit also uses two controllers that will allow players to interact with objects in the virtual space. These controllers are yet to be seen in action.
The developer kit for the HTC Vive will be launching in spring 2015 while the consumer version will be released during Holiday 2015. Valve will be showcasing the kit itself at the 2015 Game Developers Conference (GDC) next week while HTC will have limited stations available at MWC. VRFocus will continue to follow the kit closely, reporting back with any further updates on its progress.