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CES 2018: high resolution HTC Vive Pro and wireless adapter (updated)

At CES 2018, HTC announced a higher resolution version of the HTC Vive called the Vive Pro, and a wireless adapter for the Vive.  Here is a video of the announcement:

The Vive Pro has a total display resolution of 2880 x 1600, i.e. 1440 x 1600 per eye (84% higher than the current Vive’s 2160 x 1200 resolution). The higher resolution was anticipated because of a teaser that HTC shared on Twitter on January 5.

HTC Vive teaser
HTC Vive teaser

In addition to the higher resolution, the Vive Pro has other upgrades:
– An improved headstrap. The current Vive is quite front-heavy and when I look down, the headset moves away from my eyes which makes the display look blurry. The improved headstrap has better weight distribution and has a sizing dial, similar to the PSVR’s headstrap.
– Integrated high-performance headphones. The original Vive didn’t have headphones and instead you plug in your headphones to a stereo jack. The integrated headphones, similar in design to those of the Oculus Rift, are more convenient.
– Dual front-facing cameras. The current Vive has a single front-facing camera that is used to help users avoid bumping into objects. HTC says that the dual cameras are “designed to empower developer creativity” which sounds like vague marketing BS. What is more exciting is that it’s possible that the dual cameras will provide a stereoscopic view. It makes me wonder if perhaps HTC wants to add AR capabilities to the Vive Pro, in which case the dual cameras can be used to calculate depth, as in some stereoscopic cameras such as the Yi Halo and the Kandao Obsidian.
– Dual microphones with active noise cancellation. Again, this seems strange and almost redundant. I suspect it has something to do with HTC’s AR ambitions.

HTC has not yet revealed the price or availability of the Vive Pro.

Besides the Vive Pro, the leaked post said HTC would also announce a wireless adapter for the Vive.  VR headset users have been wanting a wireless VR headset with positional tracking because they would be more immersive.  Even in late 2016, there were already wireless solutions being developed for VR headsets.  But they had limited availability and were very hard to find. 

HTC Vive Wireless Adapter
HTC Vive Wireless Adapter

HTC’s wireless adapter uses Intel WGig technology “that operates in the interference-free 60Ghz band, which means lower latency and better performance,” according to HTC. The adapter will be available worldwide in 2018 Q3 but HTC hasn’t revealed the price for the adapter. Bookmark this page to stay updated on news on the HTC Vive Pro and HTC Wireless Adapter.