HTC on Monday announced the upgraded version of its Vive virtual reality headset in the form of the Vive Pro, in addition to unveiling the Vive Wireless Adaptor designed to allow either head-mounted display to operate without being tethered to a computer. The company's new offerings debuted in the run-up to the Consumer Electronics Show 2018 that's officially opening its doors to the public tomorrow and will be showcased in Las Vegas until Friday. The Vive Pro will become commercially available this quarter, whereas the Vive Wireless Adaptor is scheduled to be released over the summer. No pricing details have yet been mentioned in regards to either product.
The Vive Pro provides a direct upgrade on the original Vive in several aspects, with the most notable one being resolution; its two OLED panels offer a 2,880 x 1,600 image combined, which HTC is quick to label as a 78 percent improvement. The gadget also features a redesigned headstrap that's said to be more easily modifiable and versatile than the one found on the previous headset, as well as two front-facing cameras instead of just one. The microphone count also doubled since the first generation of the product, with the Vive Pro now boasting two built-in mics with active noise cancellation capabilities. The Taiwanese tech giant said it's hoping developers will find creative uses for the extra hardware, while the resolution upgrade should immediately improve the end-user experience by delivering a clearer, more immersive image.
The Vive Wireless Adaptor works on the 60GHz band in order to eliminate the possibility of any interference, which HTC claims will offer a more consistent experience with a lower average latency compared to the alternatives. The transmissions themselves are handled by Intel's WiGig technology but no other information about the VR accessory has yet been revealed. Due to its single-purpose nature, the success of the accessory is likely to solely rely on its energy-efficiency and it remains to be seen whether it will be able to deliver more on a single charge than a third-party solution like the newly announced TPCast Plus. HTC's focus on the VR segment is expected to strengthen over the course of this year as the company has been downsizing its once lucrative mobile business and restructuring its operations following years of underwhelming performance.