HTC made headlines at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) last week when it revealed a brand new developer edition kit for its HTC Vive virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) simply named the Vive Pre. The kit is redesigned both in terms of the HMD itself and the position-tracked controllers that come with it. It also boasts a new front-mounted camera that allows for a new and improved chaperone system to help alert players to objects in the real world when the HMD is on. But, according to the company, developers will be able to use this camera for their own purposes, too.
Dan O’Brien, vice president of planning and product management for HTC Vive, said as much in an interview with Fortune last week. “We’re going to make the camera completely accessible to developers and let them iterate on the potential beyond what we’ve done,” he stated. Currently, the chaperone system will outline anything in the real world that stands in the area that is being tracked by the HTC Vive’s Lighthouse sensors. The idea is to allow players to safely navigate around the real world as well as allow them to use items without having to remove the device.
The HTC Vive is currently slated for an April 2016 release date having been delayed from its initial window of holiday 2015. A price for the kit hasn’t been set just yet, though pre-orders will be opening next month. Its release puts it just behind the launch of the Oculus Rift, which is set to arrive on 28th March for those that got in an early pre-order when the campaign launched last month.
For the latest updates on the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, keep reading VRFocus.