HTC Vive’s ‘big technology breakthrough’ in an integrated front-facing camera

The addition of a camera system has been revealed as the technological ‘breakthrough’ that has held up the launch of the HTC Vive virtual reality headset.

HTC revealed just before Christmas that the Vive would miss its 2015 launch date due to what was described as a very big technological breakthrough” that the team decided was worth re-engineering into its current design.

Now the BBC reports that this change involves a front-facing camera that is designed to allow the user to see and avoid objects that surround them in the physical world. The tech is activated by a button on the controller which, when pressed, ‘ghosts’ objects into the VR environment.

It’s a safety feature, essentially.

Other alterations to the Vive include a new, more comfortable headset strap, swappable foam inserts, ‘nose gaskets’ (!), a brighter display with ‘better clarity’ and a number of controller updates including textured buttons and grip pads.

The company wouldn’t be pressed on price but conceded that the cost might prove a barrier to mass-market adoption”.

So what do we reckon? 299 for Oculus, 349 for PlayStation VR and 449 for Vive?

The HTC Vive, which is being developed in conjunction with Valve, is due out in April. We are likely to discover the release date of its rival the Oculus Rift tomorrow. Sony’s PlayStation VR is due out at an unspecified point in the first half of 2016.

Image credit: BBC

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