Saturday, 7 January 2017

virtual gaming on to a new level with HTC VIVE 2

The HTC Vive is getting a necessary upgrade in the form of the company’s TPCast, which allows users to experience the wearable in a wireless environment - a stark contrast from its cabled beginnings. (Photo : Upload/YouTube)

HTC ON A ROLL

When the HTC Vive was first introduced into the market, the public saw one of their first glimpses into the future of virtual reality. And while it was a stellar piece of technology, it had one very notable limitation. That is, the headset had to be tethered to a powerful computer in order to function. However, the company is already looking to fill in this gap.
About a month ago, HTC announced TPCast, which would allow wireless functionality in the Vive VR Headset. As The Verge notes, this was designed and built by a startup within HTC's Vice X accelerator program. And while the product is still new, the publication notes that it does work successfully.
One of the best things about the TPCast, as noted by the publication, is that it is so much lighter than the original headset. Understandably, the original Vive HR headset was connected to various cables and was then being dragged down. But the wireless option removes all these unnecessary things, thereby eliminating a big chunk of weight.
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The TPCast is not without its fault. In fact, it was noted that there were some frames that were skipped. But nevertheless - for what it is and how quickly the company was able to release it - it is quite impressive. And it works for almost any VR setting, whether the user is playing a first-person shooter, or is doing some science experiments.
Furthermore, the battery life is expected to last for only 2 hours. And while this is still relatively long, hardcore gamers might have to cut their playtime short because of this. In addition, the battery of the wearable is not inbuilt. Instead, HTC provides an external battery - which is actually connected to the headset - which fits easily into a standard back pocket.
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The TPCast is currently available in China but will be shipping out to other locations within the next few weeks. It was, however, available for demo at CES 2017, which was held in Las Vegas. It will cost about US$249, which is a little pricey for an accessory - mostly because it is above and beyond the cost of an HTC Vive.
Of course, Vive also took the opportunity to introduce several more products. Specifically, the Vive Tracker, Vive Deluxe Audio Strap and Viveport were discussed at CES 2017 as well. These products and services make the experience of Vive more complete, without shutting out any third party developers.
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As Digital Trend quotes general manager Daniel O'Brien, the Vive Tracker is "the first step in growing an ecosystem of third-party accessories." The item was showcased at CES 2017 while connected to an entire system of accessories, including shooter rifles and haptic gloves. Meanwhile, the Vive Deluxe Audio Strap will improve the audio quality of the experience. It comes with built-in headphones and a size dial to suit any and all players.
Lastly, the company discussed that HTC Viveport will eventually house a subscription-based platform that will aid VR arcades and other businesses. Theoretically, Viveport will support an opt-in model, which will then allow developers to choose what among their products and applications they want in the marketplace.