The HTC Vive has been getting a steady stream of new features via Valve's SteamVR Beta service, as well as compatibility with more apps and games as time goes on. A new update to SteamVR Beta throws in a few bug fixes, as well as introducing a new "Direct Mode" that allows separate images to be fed to the headset and the host PC, as well as allowing the host PC's GPU to take direct control of the headset. This should allow for a more comprehensive VR experience and increased compatibility, while also making things easier for developers.
Some of the listed fixes for SteamVR are mode-specific. For Compositor mode, a compatibility fix for Windows Aero was given. Many users who have one reason or another to hate Windows 8 and Windows 10 still cling to Windows 7 and these users have had some issues with SteamVR in the past, caused by the Windows Aero effects suite for the computer's UI. SteamVR will no longer disable or otherwise mess around with Aero. The screen will also now blank out to red if focus is lost, to prevent improper headset use that may cause software issues, nausea and other problems. In Lighthouse mode, Direct Mode is now enabled on startup. Some bug fixes were made for this mode to help with headset not detected errors and update issues. Chaperone mode should no longer have garbage data overwriting compatibility settings at random. Room Overview has also been made more readable.
As for general updates to all SteamVR features, starting up and stopping applications will now keep the system from hibernating due to inactivity, for starters. SteamVR can also automatically track the Vive's twin controllers and be able to tell which one is in which hand. The right and left controller markers will stay constant for a given session, unless the controllers are disabled and turned back on or replaced. As for Direct Mode, since it takes a lot of power, even a fairly good GPU may have issues with it if the drivers are iffy or just too old. In this case, SteamVR will throw up a warning.