TECH

HTC Unveils New And Improved Vive Pre Virtual Reality Headset At CES 2016

05/01/2016 15:56 GMT | Updated 05/01/2016 15:59 GMT

HTC has unveiled Vive Pre, an updated version of its already incredible virtual reality headset that allows you to physically walk around a virtual environment as well as interact with it.

htc vive pre

The new system is still designed for developers but it's now looking like a finished product, boasting new and improved controllers, better performance and an incredible new safety mechanism called 'Chaperone' which will stop you from walking into things.

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Vive Pre is lighter than its predecessor, it's also a lot more comfortable to wear for long periods of time and the screen inside has been upgraded to be clearer and brighter.

Then there's the controllers, no longer 3D printed DIY tools these are slick, well-made peripherals that can become your 'hands' in the virtual world. They're also wireless, making for one less thing to trip over as you walk around.

htc vive pre

One of the biggest updates to the system though is something called 'Chaperone'. Using a camera on the front of the headset as well as two sensors that you position around your living room, Vive now creates an incredibly sharp 3D map of the room. If you then start heading dangerously towards a sofa or a TV, Chaperone will gently start to bring the real world back into focus reminding you that there is, in fact a giant sofa in the way.

htc vive pre

The first version had a similar version of the technology but instead of mapping at great detail it simple showed you a walled grid when you ran out of room.

HTC believes Chaperone's powerful simplicity will be the deciding factor that puts people's minds at ease when they start thinking about whether to buy a virtual reality headset.

There's no word on an official release date for Vive yet but with PlayStation VR and Oculus Rift coming out this year don't expect HTC to hang around.