So you’d like to dive in to the virtual reality universe, but you’d rather not have to hold controllers. The most recent announcement from HTC’s Vive crew suggests that the HTC Vive Pro will soon have 6DoF hand and finger tracking with a simple software update. “Through the front-camera and its proprietary AI computer vision technology, Vive Pro users can soon interact in VR environments directly with their hands without the need for any specialized tracking hardware.”
At last, there’s one VERY CLEAR reason why the HTC Vive Pro is a better VR headset than its significantly less expensive brethren. This update will be released to HTC Vive Pro users “soon,” and developer tools will be made available to registered Viveport developer “in the near future.” So, not too specific on the drop dates there, but still – cool beans.
There’s a new VIVE Wave Full 6DoF Controller Dev Kit out in the wild right now, available for developers at Vive Developers. That’s a stand-alone VR experience with full 6DoF VR controllers that look very similar to those of the standard VIVE (with some slight modifications.) It’s unclear how far the VIVE Wave experience will reach – or if we’ll see additional headsets here in the USA any time soon.
There’s also been a soft opening of the world’s first Vive Flagship Store. This store is open at the Consumer Electronics Exchange/Exhibition Center (CEEC) in Shenzhen, and provides both products in a retail setting and service center facilities for VIVE products. Now, if only this one shop would prove powerful enough to expand around the world, where VR would become popularized to the point of Ready Player One, and total society collapse! Just so long as I can still play mini-golf in the comfort of my own basement, everything will be OK.