A virtual reality (VR) headset from HTC. The HTC Vive line is their dive into this world. There are versions that have to be powered via a PC and others that are standalone. The devices come with handheld controllers for interaction in the digital environment. This is a high-end device line and is from an expensive price point.
High Tech Computer Corporation (HTC)
Established as an original equipment and design manufacturer for other brands that produced laptops and phones, in 1997. Over time HTC started producing their own handheld devices based on the Windows Mobile OS. Later in 2008, they launched the first-ever phone based on Google's Android platform. HTC also produced the 2016 Pixel phones for Google. The first 'cryptophone' was released by HTC, a smartphone that will provide finance through Bitcoin and will help create a decentralized internet. HTC does continue to produce smartphones, but the brand has stated they are going to focus more on the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Virtual Reality experience under 'HTC VIVE'.
The Vive headset from HTC uses "room-scale" tracking technology so users can move in a 3D environment and has motion-tracking handheld controllers that can be used to interact with that environment. The first commercial version of this device was released in 2016. It is competing against Oculus, Valve, Sony PSVR and other such gadgets. These are not VR headsets that make use of a smartphone but are built with their own display technology.
There is the original and basic HTC Vive which is powered by a PC. The Vive Pro is a higher resolution variant of the same. The HTC Vive Focus Plus is a standalone device which has inside-out motion tracking. With the Vive Cosmos, there is lesser information and it is supposed to be PC-powered but there are plans to have it make use of a smartphone instead.
HTC also maintains a digital experiential centre known as Viveland for users to access and interact within.
PC power, connectivity and more
The system requirements are high for smooth operation. A gaming laptop or PC would be ideal, otherwise one needs a powerful graphics card and at least 4GB of RAM at the least. There is a Link Box that has more of the cables that are needed for the Vive to function. This does add some restriction to movement but currently, the technology level requires it.
The HDMI and USB connections from the PC have to connect to the Link Box with included cables and then from the Link Box to the headset, there is combo-cable that is 10-foot long. The Link Box also requires a connection to power which is through a wall adapter. Only after all these connections can one use their HTC Vive. This seems like a lot but it adds to the experience, this is a high powered device that creates an extremely immersive and vivid experience.
The handheld controls that come with the Vive are very well made, their tracking and sensitivity is top-notch. HTC Vive comes with 2 sensors included that one can mount on their walls for them to sense and then render the digital environment accordingly.
For audio, there is a 3.5mm jack that one can connect any of their headphones into. This adds another cable but the advantage is that one can make use of better headphones if they have them.
The HTC Vive range is among the top VR devices currently in the market. The quality is top-shelf and the price is high as well.