The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is an international electronics and technology trade show. CES is where industry professionals and major companies unveil their newest products, prototypes and innovations. The show is held every January in Las Vegas and has been a consistent platform for showcasing incredibly influential products in consumer electronics. This is a two-part series to talk about some really exciting products that will be coming soon to a home near you.
Virtual Reality Technology
There have been countless iterations in Virtual Reality (VR) over the past several decades. VR was stunted due to several hurdles in hardware and software development. The graphic hardware just wasn’t at the level necessary for creating a real-time 3D environment without motion sickness after a short amount of play. In 2011, a hardware and software developer, Palmer Luckey, revisited VR. He invented new technology that eliminated motion sickness, pushed graphic performance and refined motion tracking. Some years later the Oculus Rift was born, and in 2014 the company was acquired by Facebook for 2 billion dollars. This ushered in a viral response from competing manufacturers. It seemed the VR dream was ignited once again.
HTC / Valve Vive
What is the Vive? It’s a culmination of everything a Virtual Reality (VR) headset intended to be. The Vive is built with a high resolution screen, flawless motion tracking and dual controllers for interacting in a 3D space. How does it work? The headset connects to high end gaming computer with a long display cable, unfortunately It is not yet wireless. The headset has 32 built-in motion sensors which are tracked by two wireless base stations placed at each corner of your space. These base stations triangulate any movement in the 3D space. The Vive also has a front facing camera on the headset which allows the user to change their view between the space they are in and the game they are playing on the headset. People who have demoed the product are astounded by the level of immersion the Vive provides. Games and applications are still scarce, but thousands of developers are feverishly creating content for this new medium. The cost of the HTC Vive is $800. Pre-orders for the product began in January and units will ship in April.