Enter the Vive Cosmos, which HTC has built to focus on ease of use and adaptability. While talking with potential VR buyers, HTC found that 85% of them said ease of use was a critical issue for them.
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The Cosmos will try to solve that with adaptability. HTC says that no external base stations are required to use the Cosmos. It uses inside-out tracking, so you don't need to worry about installing sensors all over your home. It has a number of small improvements for comfortability, including a flip-up visor and a brand new strap that's more comfortable to wear.
HTC says you can use it on the go, but you can also link it up to a gaming PC. [HTC has since clarified that the Cosmos is PC first, but that it has the possibility of being linked up to, say, a smartphone in the future.] In fact, HTC says it can be powered by more than a gaming PC. It's unclear what that means, but we're wondering if that means smartphones, tablets and even gaming consoles.
In fact, there are a number of questions about the Cosmos that HTC won't answer just yet. There are two cameras on the side of the headset, likely for inside-out tracking, but HTC isn't saying how it all works. There's also an odd speaker grill in the upper left of the headset. Plus, there are those fancy new controllers.
HTC did underline that this is a brand new product line, and it's not meant to replace the Vive Pro, which is still the most technologically advanced headset in its arsenal.
Cosmos will also be the first HTC headset to run Vive Reality System, which is a brand new user interface. It essentially drops you into a world called Origin, which has continually updating art galleries, games, tools to create things and - naturally - your friends. From there, you can jump into apps and games with a new feature called Lens, which is basically an oval pop-up window. It all sounds a little like AltspaceVR, but as the center of the HTC Vive experience.
That's really all we know about Cosmos. HTC says it'll start shipping development kits in early 2019, and will announce availability and pricing later this year.