January 14, 2019
Attended by nearly 200 thousand people in Las Vegas, CES is one of the biggest trade shows in the world. CES or the Consumer Electronics Show displays the latest technology from companies like Google and Intel to Lenovo to LG. At CES, massive technology companies will showcase their existing products and announce new products to the public. VR companies such as Oculus and HTC will showcase VR hardware with HTC announcing their new VR headset at this year’s CES. In this blog, we’ll run down the latest VR news that came out of this year’s Consumer Electronics Show.
HTC Vive Pro Eye
One of the biggest announcements of this year’s CES is the HTC Vive Pro Eye . The Pro Eye differs from the HTC Vive Pro by being more technically advanced as well as introducing eye tracking. With eye tracking, the HTC Vive Pro Eye will be able to track the players eye movements to make interactions more accurate and quicker. In theory, users of the HTC Vive Pro Eye shouldn’t have to move their head as much when playing VR games. With so many possibilities this is definitely the most exciting announcement for us!
HTC Vive Cosmos
Another announcement made by HTC was the HTC Vive Cosmos , whilst it’s release is unknown the Cosmos is described by HTC as having an easier set-up and being more comfortable. Whilst not a rival to the Oculus Quest , the Cosmos looks to try to capture the same market of VR first timers, attempting to make the VR experience more user friendly. Like the Quest, the Cosmos doesn’t require any sensors, although it’s not standalone like the Quest. In the future HTC have said that the quest has “the capability to be powered by more than a traditional gaming PC”.
Firefox VR Browser
HTC at CES alongside Firefox announced their partnership to bring Firefox browsers to all HTC headsets and make them the default browser on HTC headsets such as the Vive and the newly announced Cosmos. The browser will rival the chrome browser that is currently available on the HTC Vive. Included with Firefox is Amazon Sumerian Amazon Sumerian enables developers to test and publish VR-optimised websites, ultimately creating a better VR web browsing experience.
One of the more surprising trends of CES this year was the use of virtual reality hardware for fitness applications. The NordicTrack VR Bike has been generating a substantial amount of buzz due to its showing at this year’s CES. The NordicTrack VR Bike effectively simulates the experience of riding a bike using a HTC Vive. The Vive works with the NordicTrack bike as well as VR games made for the NordicTrack VR such as Aeronauts, Bike Messenger, and The Last Rider. Another fitness application is Black Box VR, a virtual reality fitness game. Using the HTC Vive, Black Box VR wants to create a VR fitness gym experience with a focus on resistance training.
Virtual reality technology has increasingly been used in the healthcare sector, at this year’s CES, this trend has continued. MedicActiV created by Sim For Health is a training application using the HTC Vive. Whilst like existing VR training simulators, MedicActiV allows user to participate in medical training with other medical professionals. The ability to train with other people at the same time greatly enhances training as students and teachers can interact with each other in real-time and in the same environment. VRHealth alongside AARP Innovation Labs are using VR for telehealth for seniors. Using Oculus virtual reality hardware, VRHealth hopes to connect older people with family members and healthcare professionals. Healthcare has consistently taken advantage of virtual reality technology and its strong presence at CES is no surprise.
We’ve spoken at length about the Oculus Quest, it continues to build momentum with the headset being shown off at CES 2019. The all-in-one VR headset has been seen by some as a key part of the evolution of VR and is one of the most hotly anticipated pieces of technology in 2019.
CES has always be a great way to see how consumer technology will progress with VR seeing more application in enterprises from fitness to healthcare and the announcement of new and innovative VR headsets.
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