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HTC Vive is a
virtual reality Virtual reality (VR) is a simulated experience that can be similar to or completely different from the real world. Applications of virtual reality Virtual reality applications are applications that make use of virtual reality Virtual ...

virtual reality
brand A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. Brands are used in business Business is the activity of making one's living or making mon ...

brand
of
HTC Corporation HTC Corporation ( zh, t=宏達國際電子股份有限公司, s=宏达国际电子股份有限公司, p=Hóngdá Guójì Diànzǐ Gǔfèn Yǒuxiàn Gōngsī, first=t) (High Tech Computer Corporation, literally ''Hongda International Electronics ...
. It consists of hardware like its titular
virtual reality headset A virtual reality headset is a head-mounted device that provides virtual reality for the wearer. Virtual reality (VR) headsets are widely used with video games but they are also used in other applications, including simulators and trainers. Th ...
s and accessories, virtual reality software and services, and initiatives that promote
applications of virtual reality Virtual reality applications are applications that make use of virtual reality Virtual reality (VR) is a Simulation, simulated experience that can be similar to or completely different from the real world. Applications of virtual reality inc ...
in sectors like business and arts. The brand's first virtual reality headset, simply called HTC Vive, was introduced as part of a collaboration with
Valve Corporation Valve Corporation, also known as Valve Software, is an American video game developer A video game developer is a software developer specializing in video game development – the process and related disciplines of creating video games. A gam ...
, implementing its
SteamVR Steam is a video game digital distribution service by Valve Corporation, Valve. It was launched as a standalone software client in September 2003 as a way for Valve to provide automatic updates for their games, and expanded to include games from ...
hardware and software ecosystem. It was unveiled during HTC's
Mobile World Congress MWC Barcelona (formerly but still commonly referred to as Mobile World Congress) is an annual trade show A trade fair (trade show, trade exhibition, or trade exposition) is an exhibition organized so that companies A company, abbrevia ...
keynote in March 2015. Development kits were sent out in August and September 2015, and the first consumer version of the device was released in April 2016. It has since been succeeded by newer models with upgraded specifications. HTC has also released accessories that integrate with the Vive and SteamVR, including sensors for
motion capture Motion capture (sometimes referred as mo-cap or mocap, for short) is the process of recording the motion (physics), movement of objects or people. It is used in Military science, military, entertainment, sports, medical applications, and for val ...
and facial capture.


Development

Prototypes of a Valve-produced virtual reality system were demonstrated during 2014. On 23 February 2015, Valve announced SteamVR and that it would demonstrate a "SteamVR hardware system" at the 2015
Game Developers Conference The Game Developers Conference (GDC) is an annual conference for video game developers. The event includes an expo, networking events, and awards shows like the Game Developers Choice Awards and Independent Games Festival, and a variety of tutori ...
. HTC officially unveiled its device, Vive, during its
Mobile World Congress MWC Barcelona (formerly but still commonly referred to as Mobile World Congress) is an annual trade show A trade fair (trade show, trade exhibition, or trade exposition) is an exhibition organized so that companies A company, abbrevia ...
keynote on 1 March 2015. During his Immersed 2015 keynote, Chief Content Officer for HTC Phil Chen explained that he "stumbled upon VR" and later, HTC met Valve, which turned out to be "serendipity". Chen also explained that HTC and Valve don't have a clear dividing line between each of their responsibilities, and HTC is very much a partner in the research and development process.


History

At
International CES CES (formerly an initialism for Consumer Electronics Show) is an annual trade show A trade fair (trade show, trade exhibition, or trade exposition) is an exhibition organized so that companies A company, abbreviated as co., is a legal e ...
in January 2016, HTC and Valve unveiled a near-final hardware revision of the device, known as HTC Vive Pre. Preorders started on 29 February 2016 at 10:00 a.m. EST. In March, Valve and HTC announced that they also planned to distribute development models of the Vive for free to game developers who register online. In June 2016, HTC announced the release of their 'Business Edition' of the Vive for US$1,200 which would include a Professional Use License, a 12-month Commercial Warranty, access to an exclusive support line, a 5-meter (16 ft) cable extension kit, and it included the Deluxe Audio Strap. HTC announced an updated revision of the Vive known as the Vive Pro in January 2018, which featured a higher resolution and other design tweaks for comfort. In 2019, HTC released the Vive Cosmos, which features inside-out motion tracking without external base stations, and also supports interchangeable faceplates with different functionality.


Hardware

The HTC Vive implements " room-scale" virtual reality, whereby a user can walk freely around a play area rather than be constrained to a stationary position. The controllers and headset use a positional tracking system known as "Lighthouse"; multiple external base station units (also referred to as "lighthouses") are installed in the play area, which each contain an array of LED lights, and two infrared lasers. The lasers are attached to rotating spinners which sweep the play area vertically and horizontally with timed pulses. The headset and controllers contain
photosensors Photodetectors, also called photosensors, are sensors In the broadest definition, a sensor is a device, module, machine, or subsystem whose purpose is to detect events or changes in its environment and send the information to other electro ...
which detect the LED lights from the base stations, and then compare them with the timing of the laser sweeps in order to determine their relative position in 3D space. The Vive is bundled with two wand-like
motion controller Wii Remote with original strap. In video game A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface or input device such as a joystick, game controller, controller, computer keyboard, keyboard, or motion sensing ...
s; they feature circular
trackpad A touchpad or trackpad is a pointing device featuring a tactile sensor, a specialized surface that can translate the motion and position of a user's fingers to a relative position on the operating system that is made output to the screen. Touchpa ...
s similar to the
Steam Controller The Steam Controller is a game controller developed by Valve A valve is a device or Heart valve, natural object that regulates, directs or controls the flow of a fluid (gases, liquids, fluidized solids, or slurries) by opening, closing, or ...

Steam Controller
. The headset contains two
OLED An organic light-emitting diode (OLED or organic LED), also known as organic electroluminescent (organic EL) diode, is a light-emitting diode with E27 screw in base, A bulb-shaped modern retrofit LED lamp File:Chip-On-Board CO ...
display panels with a
resolution Resolution(s) may refer to: Common meanings * Resolution (debate), the statement which is debated in policy debate * Resolution (law), a written motion adopted by a deliberative body * New Year's resolution, a commitment that an individual make ...
of 1080×1200 per-eye, with a
refresh rate The refresh rate (or "vertical refresh rate", "vertical scan rate", terminology originating with the cathode ray tube A cathode-ray tube (CRT) is a vacuum tube containing one or more electron guns, the beams of which are manipulated to dis ...
of 90  and a 110 degree
field of view The field of view (FoV) is the extent of the observable world that is seen Seen may refer to: * Seen (album), ''Seen'' (album), by Tom Bailey * Seen (artist), graffiti artist * Seen (Winterthur), a district of the city of Winterthur, Switze ...
. It contains a
accelerometer An accelerometer is a tool that measures proper acceleration In relativity theory, proper acceleration is the physical acceleration (i.e., measurable acceleration as by an accelerometer) experienced by an object. It is thus acceleration relative ...
,
gyroscope A gyroscope (from Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: (), Dark Ages (), the period (), and the period (). ...

gyroscope
and
proximity Proximity may refer to: * Distance, a numerical description of how far apart objects are * Proxemics, the study of human spatial requirements and the effects of population density * Proximity (2000 film), ''Proximity'' (2000 film), an action/thrill ...

proximity
sensor, and a front-facing camera used for the "Chaperone" feature, which can display the boundaries of the user's chosen perimeter or the view of the camera in order to help guide the user away from objects and walls in their play area. The headset must be connected to a supported PC using a "link box", which contains
USB 3.0 USB 3.0, released in November 2008, is the third major version of the Universal Serial Bus Universal Serial Bus (USB) is an industry standard ''Industry Standard'' is a 1982 album by Dixie Dregs, The Dregs. It is their only album f ...

USB 3.0
,
HDMI High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) is a proprietary hardware, proprietary audio/video Interface (computing), interface for transmitting uncompressed video data and compressed or uncompressed digital audio data from an HDMI-compliant s ...

HDMI
, and power connectors. The Vive initially required computers running
Microsoft Windows Microsoft Windows, commonly referred to as Windows, is a group of several proprietary {{Short pages monitor