HTC Leaders Hope Modular Vive Cosmos Will Appeal To Multiple Markets

by Jamie Feltham • March 4th, 2019

Vive Cosmos, HTC’s newest consumer-driven VR headset, is designed to bring a new audience to VR. HTC leaders also want to reach people that find current systems inaccessible. That’s why it’s got inside-out tracking and improved design. It also has, in HTC’s words, Vive’s sharpest display yet.

But VR enthusiasts won’t be left out of the mix.

Vive General Manager Daniel O’Brien suggested as much to me at MWC this week. HTC still isn’t saying much about Vive Cosmos. I asked if HTC was working on another high-end headset for people who bought the original Vive. He suggested Cosmos is for those buyers.

I also asked if the headset’s modular aspect would extend beyond platforms. Cosmos will run on both PC and, HTC hints, smartphones. O’Brien said yes, without saying much else.

It is better if I just post the transcript rather than try and explain the tango for myself.

O’Brien: Everything that you’ll see from us over the next couple of years, whether it’s on the enterprise and B2B side or whether it’s on the consumer side is just looking at the friction points and trying to take them away. That’s seamlessly how we’re trying to approach the market.

Feltham: So I would say there’s these three categories at Vive right now, then. That’s the enterprise, Cosmos represents, you’ve said before, a chance to grab a new audience, people that aren’t into VR yet. and then there’s this thing in the middle which is what the original Vive is: high-end, gaming, enthusiast. Is that something that you’re still working on in the hardware side and we’ll see the next high-end, gaming, enthusiast headset?

O’Brien: We’ve really approached Cosmos in a really interesting way and the story’s going to continue to evolve.

Feltham: So [Cosmos] could be the next high-end headset too?

O’Brien: This is going to be a product that has scalability.

Feltham: And that could go up or down?

O’Brien: Yes. Across multiple customers. And we’ve approached that product really specifically to approach multiple markets and approach those problems.

Feltham: What are the modular aspects? Would I be able to potentially swap out the screen one day?

O’Brien: We’ll have more to say.

Feltham: More than just what powers it?

O’Brien: Yes.

Feltham: So, potentially, one day if I wanted eye-tracking I could just plug it in between the lenses, potentially?

O’Brien: There’s a lot more to come on that product.

I certainly tried.

“This product is going to be able to grow and support our premium VR customers that we have today and the customers we expect to have tomorrow. And that product’s going to evolve over a year,” O’Brien concluded.

That’s about all we’re getting out of HTC for now. But, with GDC coming up this month, new Cosmos info is hopefully right around the corner.

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