HTC Vive: Everything You Need to Know

Veronika Petrenko
XR Enthusiast

The world of virtual reality is constantly evolving. From new software programs to accessible devices, it won’t be long before everyone can experience their own version of these new technologies. 

While HTC is well known for its affordable and reliable headphones, the company managed to hit a new market using one of its latest inventions. HTC Vive is an impressive and immersive virtual reality headset designed to cater to the needs of those who want to experience the VR world according to their terms. 

So, what makes this VR headset special? What can you expect from it? We’ve done the research in our HTC Vive review to answer all your questions. 

What is HTC Vive?

This is an accessible virtual reality headset that immediately replaces your field of view once you put it on. The developers in HTC designed this set to suit those who are experiencing virtual reality for the first time, as well as those who know a thing or two about the technology. 

Once you switch it on, you have total control of your virtual environment, seeing things move with you as you move around. The headset comes with 2 controllers that make it easier to manipulate and more reliable to use. 

After several announcements and developmental models, the first HTC Vive was finally released on May 5th, 2016. 

HTC Vive headset and hand controls

How Does HTC Vive Work?

HTC Vive depends on software and hardware components that work together to create a remarkable virtual reality experience. 

You put the HTC Vive controller in your hands, and you immediately get transferred to a virtual world of your creation. These controllers respond to 2 cameras set up in your room or any other space. These cameras, or Lighthouses as called by HTC, emit infrared light, which is detected by the headset. 

The sensors on the controllers respond to this light and immediately transform your space into a virtual world that you can navigate on your terms. 

Mounting the cameras is a straightforward task. You can either screw them to the wall, place them on a flat surface, or even place them on a tripod. Whatever works for you. 

All these components work using the Valve software, which allows you to play virtual reality games according to your convenience. 

What Are the Features of the HTC Vive Headset?

Due to the company’s pre-existing experience in the world of smartphones, it had a thing or two that was easily incorporated into its HTC Vive headset. It comes with lots of features that make it one of the best virtual reality sets for shooter games and other virtual reality applications. 

Wide Field of View

The original HTC Vive has a wide 110-degree field of view and refreshes at a rate of 90Hz, allowing you to enjoy a fully immersive experience on the two OLED panels. Each panel has a display resolution of 1080X1200, with a combined resolution of 2160X1200. 

The front-facing camera also enhances safety as users are able to observe their surroundings without removing the headset. 

Smart Room Tracking

The design of HTC Vive incorporates smart controllers with responsive software that is designed to deliver the best user experience. 

Using this software, you can choose the Room Scale or Standing Room Only modes, so you can enjoy virtual reality games and other applications. 

According to the Room Scale mode, you can draw your play area where the controllers will create the virtual reality that suits your space. You can adjust the area from 3 to 15 square feet, where you can play, walk, and move your hands without getting out of the range of the cameras. 

The Standing Room Only mode is one of the best choices for smaller areas because you don’t really have to go beyond the standing area to enjoy a game of your choice.

As a result, HTC Vive doesn’t require redecorating your area or changing the setup in any space because you can adjust it according to your needs. 

HTC Vive Games

Powered by SteamVR, which is an extension of Valve’s game distribution platform, there are lots of titles that players can explore, in addition to some exclusive content that was marketed solely for HTC Vive. 

However, the company isn’t creating this headset solely for gaming purposes. It’s designed to be a comprehensive VR headset that can be used for multiple entertainment purposes, and this is why it teamed with other companies like HBO, Google, and Lionsgate to provide non-gaming content to HTC Vive’s users. 

Enhanced Audio

In 2017, HTC introduced an audio strap that added to the overall quality of the experience. The integrated over-ear headphones offer better weight distribution to enhance the user’s experience. 

HTC Vive
Image Source

New HTC Vive Gadgets

The fun doesn’t stop here as HTC is determined to enrich the market with better virtual reality experiences that can make this technology more fun and accessible. 

Vive Pro

HTC Vive Pro is an improved professional-grade version of the original HTC Vive, designed for those who want to experience this technology for more professional purposes. 

The first model of this series was released in 2018, two years after the original HTC Vive was released. Now the Business Pro 2 model features 5K resolution, sub-millimeter tracking, and better ergonomics for long-term use. 

The full kit comes with Vive wand controllers that HTC assures that some users still prefer as they provide more reliability. The estimated date of release is set to be June 3rd, 2021.

Vive Focus

As a unique enterprise solution, Vive Focus offers a remarkable experience with no sensors, base stations, or tethered PC. This all-in-one VR set features 3K AMOLED screens and the Kiosk mode with limits access to different apps. 

In addition to Focus and Focus Plus, the company is launching Focus 3 in June 2021 for a price that includes a dedicated business service and tech support. 

The biggest upgrade is related to the display, where each panel has a resolution of 2448 × 2448 per eye. It also has a 120-degree upgraded field of view. 

Vive Cosmos

The HTC Vive Cosmos line represents an upgrade to the original HTC, incorporating Oculus Touch controllers to elevate users’ experience and a more open hardware design for enhanced comfort

The Elite version has a resolution of 440 x 1700 pixels per eye panel and more precise tracking for different games and apps. At a slightly lower cost, more users are able to access VR with the help of HTC devices that keep on improving.

There’s still room for more improvement, so you can easily upgrade your HTC Vive Cosmos down the road. It’s simpler to set up, and SteamVR tracking can be easily installed, even if you don’t opt for the Elite version. Moreover, the Cosmos line excels, thanks to its ability to go wireless

For now, you still can’t use it with a smartphone, but in the future, nothing will stop HTC from improving its VR devices to make this technology more accessible. 

Which HTC Vive to Choose?

Finding the right VR headset can be challenging, as the market keeps evolving, introducing new devices that can make VR more accessible and more affordable. 

At WeAR Studio, you will find reliable experts with first-hand experience in building meaningful XR solutions. Interested? Just contact us today, and we’ll turn your XR ideas into products. 

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