We are finally at the dawn of the virtual reality age with the release of the HTC Vive headset. Trying out the HTC Vive is an experience that’s almost impossible to describe, like trying to communicate moving pictures to somebody who has only seen photos.
– With a nominal 110 degree field of view showing off a 2160×1200 pixel resolution at a 90Hz refresh rate, the graphics simultaneously feel ultra real and surreal at the same time.
– The system grants full immersion through the use of the Lighthouse tracking system, whereby two base stations use pulsed infrared lasers to track the wearer’s movements.
– This, combined with the Chaperone guidance system makes sure you will stay inside the play area and the reality created around you remains seamless.
And with a weight of only 555 grams, you won’t feel like you’re trying to wear an entire TV on your head as you did with the archaic systems of the ‘90s. The illusion is complete thanks to the wireless controllers equipped in each hand that allow you to explore and interact with virtual objects as freely as you do real ones. Rather than simply porting a console controller into VR, these are especially designed controllers with an intuitive interface and haptic feedback that will really take you into the world.
Virtual reality is in many ways a brand new medium, and comparisons to the first movies feel appropriate. But the HTC Vive is not a proof-of-concept prototype designed to sell the medium’s potential. This is current technology that is ready to use today, and we’re already seeing legions of developers creating innovative and exciting content for the format unlike anything seen before in movies or games.
The technology is here, but we’ve only just begun to imagine how we can use it.