HTC reveals Vive Pre, latest dev kit for the VR headset

By Sherif Saed, Wednesday, 6 January 2016 10:00 GMT

The HTC Vive too is at CES 2016, and the latest iteration brings several key changes.

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HTC and Valve are showing the second development kit for the Vive headset. The new model, called Vive Pre, features a front-facing camera, allowing users to see and interact with the real world as they’re wearing it. “Being able to take a seat, find your drink, and carry on conversations without removing your headset is only the beginning of what’s possible,” the press release reads.

This is the technological breakthrough the company was referring to when it pushed the Vive’s launch from 2015 to April, 2016.

The new headset should also be more comfortable to wear, according to HTC, with an updated strap design. The headset can also be adjusted to better support those wearing glasses.

The controllers, the prototypes of which were shown as far back as March 2015, also received an overhaul. First up, they now look a lot more like consumer products than lab prototypes, and feature a somewhat similar design to that of Oculus Touch’s.

The new design incorporates new ergonomics with softer edges and a grip pad, similar to today’s controllers. There’s also “dual-stage” triggers for interacting with in-game objects, with support for haptic feedback. They also have rechargeable lithium batteries that offer 4 hours of use in a single charge.

HTC expects the Pre to be in the hands of developers soon, and have reconfirmed the April, 2016 launch.

See the new look below:

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