If you’re into the gaming industry or play video games as a hobby, whether casually or competitively, then you have likely heard of the HTC Vive. If, however, you have not heard of this amazing, new innovation in virtual reality technology. I highly recommend you look it up!
For those who are closely following its development, you may have heard about a few new accessories being released for it. With a bit of intuitive research. I was able to uncover some of the new accessories and their features.
The major three up for review are the Vive Deluxe Audio Strap, the Vive TPCast, and the Vive Tracker.
Vive Deluxe Audio Strap
The HTC Vive Deluxe Audio Strap is, for some users, the saving grace for extreme virtual reality immersion. For ages people have wanted a decent pair of headphones that work well enough with the headset to add to the overall audio-immersion of the product.
The HTC Vive Deluxe Audio Strap has a new, innovative design that allows it to easily snap straight onto the headset. With added adjustability, it has become far more comfortable than before to wear the headset with some people stating that it feels less front-heavy than before. Because of the strap’s rigidity, it feels more like a solid piece of equipment, and thus less flimsy.
The headphones also provide good noise cancellation and provide excellent sound quality. It feels like more of a complete product now than before.
The HTC Vive Deluxe Audio Strap is set to release in the second quarter of this year, though no pricing estimates have been mentioned thus far.
If you felt like the audio quality was lacking in the HTC Vive before, then the HTC Vive Deluxe Audio Strap should definitely pique your interest!
Possibly the biggest innovation to come to the HTC Vive since its launch, is the Vive Tracker.
What this amazing little device allows developers to do is turn ordinary objects or their own custom-made objects into proper accessories for the Vive. What they have essentially done is create the very foundation for the future of HTC Vive accessories.
The Vive Tracker has a tripod mounting screw and pin as well as a Pogo pin to allow developers multiple ways to mount it to their accessories as well as mapping different inputs. It even has a USB port for additional data transfer.
The battery life for the Vive Tracker is about six hours long. It can be recharged via the USB port or Pogo pins. Any given system can have up to sixteen different Vive Trackers connected to it, though this is mostly for area mapping purposes. Needless to say, the way the tracker connects to the headset itself is wireless, so no need to worry about wires.
Some accessories that already utilise the technology of the Vive Tracker includes a variety of firearms (rifles, pistols, etc.), Baseball bats, and an especially unique set of firefighter gear including a firehose that simulates real water pressure and a jacket that heats up as the fire in the game grows.
The success of these accessories proves the power that the Vive Tracker can give to the whole system. HTC has sent over a thousand units of the Tracker to different developers in order to get a whole market of accessories developed. This means more variety for the consumer, which is always a good thing! The Tracker is set to ship in the second quarter of this year, though no pricing options have been mentioned yet.
The Vive Tracker’s capabilities may have you excited, but you might also be slightly sceptical.
How will you use the new rifle accessories to play a fast-paced first-person-shooter without a bunch of wires getting in the way?
The HTC Vive TPCast is the solution for you! This new innovative technology makes the HTC Vive headset completely wireless! The TPCast comes in three parts. You have the transmitter, the receiver, and the battery pack. Each one does as their name suggests.
Of course, there is the initial concern of latency, but they have basically eliminated this issue. The signal that is put out is very robust and because of that the latency is under two milliseconds (the developer says it’s closer to one millisecond).
The system supports USB 2.0 and will eventually have USB 3.0 integration (which means it will be even better then. The transmitter connects to your computer via HDMI cable, which for some might be an issue, but for others, a saving grace!
The battery pack has a life of two hours, but there is an XL option that lasts for five. The TPCast ships in this year’s second quarter, and there has been no mention of pricing yet.
Whether you want better audio immersion, accessories to enhance gameplay, or just less wires cluttering up your experience, these three developments will have you covered. The second quarter of 2017 sure is looking up for virtual reality fans!