The HTC Vive was introduced at HTC’s Mobile World Congress keynote in March 2015 and was finally released on April 5, 2016. Phil Chen, Chief Content Officer for HTC, founded the HTC Vive. HTC paired with Valve, an entertainment software and technology company, to produce Vive. The Vive can be ordered online at https://www.vive.com/uk/ for £759.00 (British pounds), which is equivalent to $932.78 in US Dollars. The bundle, which includes a Vive Ready computer, the Vive VR headset and controls, a USB drive with hardware setup instructions, required software including The Lab by Valve and theBlu:Encounter by WeVR, can be purchased online for £1,399 plus free shipping. This is the equivalent to $1719.31 in US Dollars. Valve and HTC have announced that the headset will be free for selected developers.
The Vive is designed to immerse people in the VR world. The room that you are in disappears and you are transported to the world of your choice. There is a front-facing camera on the headset that blends the real world settings with the virtual world. The 110-degree field of view immerses viewers into their virtual world. There are 32 headset sensors that track motion through 360 degrees. The headset is combined withtwo controllers, one for each hand. These controllers help you explore the virtual world and make selections within the game as well as serve as your tools within the games. Whether they serve as a bow and arrow or simply extensions of your hands, the controllers receive real-time haptic feedback that further contributes to your VR experience. You get the chance to freely roam and explore your VR world and participate in a variety of activities by clicking the buttons on your controls and then following the actions needed for the game that you choose to participate in. You are truly transported to another place through this experience.
Immersion: The most outstanding pro of the HTC Vive would be the complete immersion in another world. The feeling you get is so real, and it makes you forget that the outside world is there, especially if you invest in the audio headset that cancels out the outside noise around you.
Comfort: The headset has a comfortable fit around your head, and it is easily adjustable. The controls also have a natural grip, so it is easy and natural feeling to hold them and use them as an extension of your hands.
Variety: There are a number of games and activities that you can take part in while using the Vive software. Whether it be archery, launching explosives, or simply exploring different environments, the variety is there.
Price: Many people would love to experience the HTC Vive, but are unable to do so because of the steep price. The only reason I got to experience it was because of this Virtual Reality class that I am in. Without the class, I would have never gotten the chance to experience this technology.
I see this technology being used mostly for gaming purposes, but it definitely has the potential for other uses. The HTC Vive could potentially be used for medical purposes like exploring the human body and even virtually practicing surgeries before performing them in real life. It could also be used for military training by immersing soldiers in training in a virtual world that could better prepare them for the environment of the battlefield. The possibilities are truly endless. All it takes is an idea, and a software could potentially be made to meet that need. For now, it’s mostly gaming, but the potential of the future of the HTC Vive is unknown.