HTC has today unveiled the second iteration of its virtual reality Vibe headset, dubbed as the Vive Pre. For those new to the subject, HTC Vive is a head mounted virtual reality display jointly designed by HTC and Valve which is yet in development phase.
Vibe Pre isn’t the final consumer version (which is expected to ship this April), but is the second developer kit which shall start shipping to developers very soon. Initially, HTC will be rolling out 7000 headsets for developers.
The biggest difference is a front camera which lets you pry into the rear world, which could be very useful during extended gaming sessions. The front camera will also be used for room scaling, which could facilitate interaction of virtual and rear objects, and could also be used to warn users when they are just about to collide with a nearby object.
The headset also includes a redesigned strap system and provides for more comfortable fit. HTC has also improved the controller design, which now have rechargeable batteries and haptic feedback. HTC claims the re-design includes significant changes which shall make the headset more stable and much more comfortable.
The display has also been made brighter and together with improvement in lens assembly, results in clearer vision. The HTC Vive Pre should be very close to the final consumer unit that is supposed to ship in April. HTC might further extend the launch date, but the improvements in HTC Vibe Pre are indeed compelling.