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HTC and Valve work together to bring you the HTC Vive, a VR HMD

by: John -
More On: Vive

Virtual reality and head mounted displays are going to be a big focus at GDC this week, but at the Mobile World Conference, HTC announced their take on the HMD. It's not just them though as they are partnering with Valve Software on this one.

The HTC Vive is a little different than the Oculus Rift. Instead of one display split between each eye, the Vive has two 1200x1080 displays that runs at 90Hz. A headphone jack will let you plug in your favorite headset. 

An array of sensors in the Vive will be used to track your position and orientation. You'll be able to pair the Vive up with two base stations, which will let you walk around in a room. Oculus has cameras that help with this in their latest unit, but I'm wondering if HTC is using something similar to the STEM System which relies on magnetics to track position and orientation. I've read that the base stations put invisible markers around the room and the IR reflectors on the Vive pick up said markers for tracking purposes.

HTC even teases a custom controller to be used with the Vive, but there aren't any pictures or more information on this yet. Maybe GDC can shed some light on what they're talking about.

Plans are right now that HTC and Valve will release a Developer's Edition sometime in the Spring and then the final commercial version in the Fall of this year. Yeah, I'm skeptical that Valve can deliver something on time as well, but let's hope they do. Also, no pricing was announced yet, so there's also that big thing to factor in.

The HTC Vive sounds very promising and something I'm looking forward to getting my hands, or eyes, on. There's some good tech on paper and this could be the first product in a long line of products announced to get VR into the hands of everyone.

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