HTC Vive User Guide Shows How To Setup Your Play Area

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Many companies are building their own VR headsets, but HTC is quite confident that their Vive headset is the most advanced of them. The headset was demoed during CES and while we still don't know how much will it cost, it could be available for pre-order quite soon. The user guide for HTC's Vive PRE was spotted as the company is already sending that document to studios and designers so they can start developing software for the new headset, and the user guide offers information on the maximum space requirements and the whole installation process. Let's remember that the Steam VR technology used in the Vive scans the whole room so users could move around it, this feature is not very common among these kind of headsets.

The manual goes through the contents of the box including the headset, controllers and base stations. Some schematics of the headset show the various sensors it integrates and it shows how to put it in your head, as well as adjust various settings to ensure the best VR experience. Some specifications of the Link Box are given and then more details about the controllers. The base stations are used to track the sensors from the headset and the controllers, so they are quite delicate and its installation must be done carefully. Before users install them, they should decide if they want the full room-scale setup to track their movements across the room and interact with VR objects into what's called a 'play area', this requires a minimum play area of 5 x 6.5 feet, otherwise, the seated and standing experience doesn't require as much space, but more space might be needed according to the VR content. The play area should not be blocked by any objects such as furniture or pets. Mirrors or reflective surfaces should be covered as well as windows or other sources of direct sunlight. The computer should be placed outside the play area and the cable between the headset and the computer can only extend for 5 meters.

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The two base stations should be positioned angled above the user's height and diagonally across the room from each other. The maximum distance between them should be 5 meters (around 16 feet) for proper tracking. A sync cable can be used between the base station if they are not positioned at enough height or just for added reliability. Once users are ready to start using the Vive, they should keep in mind that the headset and controllers should be at least 0.5 meters and no more than 5 meters from a base station.