In a demo at HTC's San Francisco office, I tested the original Vive and the new Vive Cosmos, one by one, and it was amazing how different the two headsets were. The overall ergonomics in the Cosmos have been vastly improved. Putting it together is way easier, for example. While the original has different head-straps, the new headset uses a simpler Halo-style system similar to the one in Pro and PS VR, with an adjustable hard plastic supporting and a single velcro strap on top. An HTC employee slammed into my head like a backward baseball cap, and with just a few tweaks, I was ready to go. Comparatively, the Cosmos also feels lighter.
What I really care about is the Cosmos goggles that have been adjusted to better fit a wider range of face shapes. For example, even though HTC said you could wear glasses with the original Vive, I always thought it would be uncomfortable to do so ̵1; mine would be pressed against my eyes. In the new Cosmos, this is no problem; more room. Like many other headsets, there is also an IPD dial – the Cosmos one is located on the right – which allows you to adjust the distance between the lenses. And thanks to the overall padding, it felt snug but not tight. I feel like I can wear it for hours.
Another big difference is that the Cosmos's eyepiece is really coming back, so you can go back "I didn't like it in practice. If you tapped the goggles, the whole the headset feels off-balance an d front-heavy, as if it were about to slip in. HTC's representative said it was probably due to the thinning of my hair; the back didn't have much grip on my head. thinking that people with straight, long hair is a rarity, however, so I found this answer to be less than satisfactory.
If you want to see what's going on around you but you don't want to to flip up the headset., there's an alternative. Vive Cosmos has an integrated passthrough camera that lets you see what's around you without touching the headset. To enable it, either step in the lab as digital borders (basically, step outside of the virtual wall) or double-tap the Vive button on the controller. The result is a blurry view of your surroundings – in my case, a living room in HTC's San Francisco office.
It is so frustrating that I can hardly put out people's faces. O & # 39; Brien admits it has not been so good so far. "It's pretty primitive, now, yes," he said. The reason this is so bad, however, is that the Cosmos uses both cameras for tracking and passthrough functions, and HTC has decided to prioritize low resolution resolution latencies to ensure responsive tracking. "But we intend to improve that over time," he added. That being said, this is at least a quick way to jump in and out of VR if you need a pinch.
is also a magnet for other things. release facepypes that add functionality. At launch, HTC will release Vive Cosm In External Tracking mode, allowing you to use Vive Cosmos on HTC's Lighthouse base stations. By itself, the Cosmos only offers 310-degree room tracking (which is still nice), but with the addition of the External Tracking faceplate and the extra sensors, you'll be able to get 360-degree tracking of the whole room. This mod supports Vive's peripheral ecosystem like Vive Tracker. It will be available starting next year.
Besides the hardware, another great feature of the Cosmos is that it is the first HTC VR headset to be sent to the Vive Reality System instead of SteamVR. The Vive Reality System is a new software experience for the platform complete with a redesigned user interface called Lens for browsing apps and settings.