HTC Vive Pro

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HTC Vive Pro
Vive-pro pdp-01 hmd.png
Information
VR/AR Virtual Reality
Type Head-mounted display
Subtype Discrete HMD
Platform SteamVR
Developer HTC, Valve
Operating System Windows
Requires PC
Predecessor HTC Vive
Successor HTC Vive 2.0
Display Dual Panel
Resolution 2880 x 1600 (1440 x 1600 per eye)
Pixel Density 615 PPI per eye
Refresh Rate 90 Hz [1]
Persistence TBC
Field of View 110° (diagonal)
Optics Fresnel Lenses
Tracking 6DOF
Rotational Tracking Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Laser Position Sensor
Positional Tracking Base Stations
Update Rate Rotational: TBC, Positional: TBC
Tracking Volume TBC (supports both Lighthouse Trackers 1.0 and 2.0 (up to 10 foot by 10 foot)
Latency Motion to Photon, TBC
Audio Built-in headphones, external headphones
Camera Pass-through stereo cameras
Input Controllers in both hands
Connectivity DisplayPort 1.2, USB-C 3.0 port, Bluetooth (Version TBD) (TBD: 1 headphone jack???)
Weight TBD
Cable Length TBD
Release Date Q1 2018
Price TBD
Website https://www.vive.com/us/product/vive-pro/
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See also: HTC Vive

Introduction

HTC Vive Pro (also known as HTC Vive 1.5) is the 2018 update to the first consumer version of the HTC Vive (Platform) Virtual Reality HMD developed by HTC. It is part of the SteamVR ecosystem created by Valve. Indeed, it was the partnership between the two notable technology companies that led to a quality product and made possible the integration of the VR headset with the SteamVR platform. [2]

Release and Versions

On January 8, 2018, the Vive Pro was announced at CES 2018 with a release date of Q1 2018.

Version History

Pre-orders for the Vive Pro have not yet begun nor has the final pricing been announced. It is proposed to sell just with the head-mounted display (HMD) as an upgrade to existing owners, or alternatively as part of a kit, potentially with two wireless motion tracked controllers and two lighthouse Base Stations positional sensors that enable room-scale VR.

Features

  • Room-scale VR - Move around freely in a TBD space. Both HMD and the two controllers are accurately tracked within that space using up to 4 tracking stations.
  • Chaperone - Prevents the user from bumping into real life walls and other obstacles.
  • Front facing camera - Allows the user to see the real life environment in front of them while wearing the HMD.
  • Smartphone connectivity - Connects the HMD to a smartphone via Bluetooth, allowing the user to receive calls, messages reminders and return calls.

Hardware

Review

Design and Ergonomics

The HMD is sleek and sturdy, with blue highlights and is lighter than the original, non-Pro version. It is secured to the user's head with a harness-like series of straps. The user's face contacts the HMD with a soft and comfortable facial interface. The foam gasket part of the interface can be removed and replaced by lifting it from the velcro. The user can change the distance between the lenses to fit his IPD (Interpupillary Distance) with the dial on the right side of the HMD. Eye relief, the distance between the lenses and your eyes can be adjusted to extend or retract the sides of the HMD. While this function allows the Vive to accommodate most glasses, it has to be noted that increasing the eye relief does negatively affect the FOV (Field of View).

Display and Optics

The Vive features dual OLED panel displays of 1440 x 1600 per eye. The colors are vibrant, the resolution is adequate and the screen door effect is significantly reduced with the 78% increase in pixels. God rays are caused by Fresnel lenses' ridges which scatter light. They look similar to lens flares and are noticeable whenever there are high contrast elements on the screen i.e. white text on a black background. How significant God rays are in the new Vive Pro display and optics system yet to be evaluated.

Front facing stereo cameras

Dual cameras are located on the front of the HMD. The camera can bring up a wide FOV of the environment that is in front of you. Players can activate the camera by double tapping the SteamVR controller's "System" button or set it to automatically activate when you wander too close to the Chaperone boundaries. Working in conjunction with Chaperone, the camera creates another layer that keeps the player safe while moving around wearing the HMD.

Tracking

Tracking in Vive has no visible latency. The tracking system employed by HTC Vive is called Lighthouse. While rotational tracking is achieved with IMUs (inertial measuring units), positional tracking is accomplished with two IR (infrared) Base Stations. The Base Stations constantly flood the room with IR that is detected by sensors on the HMD and SteamVR Controllers. The HMD and controllers' position in relation to the Base Stations is then obtained (inside-out tracking). The Vive's tracking is designed for both seated, standing, and most importantly Room-scale VR experiences.

The HTC Vive headset is designed to accurately track the position and orientation of the HMD and controllers within a space (size to be confirmed).

Voice and Audio

Vive has a built-in dual noise cancelling microphones and built-in headphones.

Cables and Ports

In The Box

TBD.

Specifications

Part Spec
Display Dual OLED Panels
Resolution 2880 x 1600 (1440 x 1600 per eye)
Pixel density  ???
Refresh rate 90 Hz
Persistence Low
Field of View 110° (diagonal)
Optics Fresnel lenses
IPD TBD
Tracking 6 degrees of freedom
Rotational tracking Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Magnetometer
Positional tracking Base Stations
Update Rate TBD
Tracking Volume TBD
Latency
Connectivity TBD
Weight At release: TBD

System Requirements

Recommended

  • GPU: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1070 or better
  • CPU: TBD
  • RAM: TBD
  • Video Output: DisplayPort 1.2 or newer
  • USB Port: 1x USB-C 3.0 port
  • Operating System: Windows 10

SteamVR Performance Test

SteamVR Performance Test is a benchmark software that checks if your system is ready for the original Vive. It checks your system's OS, GPU and CPU to see if it has the capability of running VR at 90 FPS and whether VR content can tune the visual fidelity up to the recommended level. To be confirmed if there are any tools to check for compatibility with the new HTC Vive Pro.

Play Area Requirements

See also: #Play Area Setup

The play area sets the virtual boundaries of the HTC Vive. The interaction with VR objects happens within the play area.

  • Make sure the play area is free of furniture and other obstacles.
  • Place the PC next to the play area because the cable of the HMD connecting to your PC is five meters long.
  • Make sure the base stations are mounted near power outlets.

Room-scale VR Requirements

For Room-scale VR, it is required a space where the user can move freely.

  • Minimum room size with Lighthouse 1.0 Trackers : 2 m x 1.5 m (6 feet 6 inches x 5 feet)
  • Maximum between base stations with Lighthouse 1.0 Trackers: 5 m (16 feet), Room size: 3.5 m x 3.5 m (11 feet 7 inches x 11 feet 7 inches)
    • Base stations can track further but the length of headset cable is 5 meters.

NOTE: TBD what the tracking area is with the new Lighthouse 2.0 Trackers.

Standing/Seated VR Requirements

  • No minimum space requirements

Setup Tutorial

HMD Setup

Putting the HMD on

  1. Pull the HMD down over your eyes.
  2. Slide the straps around the back of your head and adjust them so that the headset fits.

Adjusting the Head Straps to Fit Perfectly

  1. Walk towards your chaperone boundaries with the Vive on. Get really close to them.
  2. Adjust the Vive left and right until the vertical lines don't have "god rays". They should become solid and not look smudgy. Once you find a good placement tighten down the side straps.
  3. Adjust the Vive up and down until the horizontal chaperone lines don't look blurry/smudged and don't have god rays. Tighten the top strap until it's a nice snug fit.
  4. Turn the IPD all the way up, you'll probably notice the chaperone lines getting blurry. Once it's at max, bring it back down and they'll become more in focus. Once they start getting blurry again just open the IPD up a bit, like focusing binoculars.

Adjust IPD: IPD is the distance between the center of the pupils of the eyes. You can adjust the distance between the lenses to match the distance between your pupils by turning the knob on the right side of HMD.

Adjust Eye relief: Eye-relief is the distance between the lenses and your eyes. Keep the lenses as close as possible because increasing the eye-relief lowers the field of view. Only increase it if you really need to, such as fitting eye glasses. You can adjust your eye-relief with the two large, circular knobs on the sides of HMD. Pull the knobs out then rotate them to increase or decrease the distance. Press them back in to lock the HMD in place.

Replace face cushion: If the face cushion is too wide, replace it with the thin cushion. You can exchange the cushions by peeling the velcro off from the two ends.

Replace nose rest: Remove the nose rest by peeling the flap too. Replace the nose rest by pressing the tabs into their slots and make sure that the flaps are behind the face cushion.

Link Box Setup

  1. TBD if Link Box is included with the new Headset.

Controllers Setup

Charging: Charge the Controller with the microUSB cable and/or power adapter. You can check the battery level of the controllers when no apps are running, or when the System Dashboard is up.

On/Off: To turn the Controller on, press the System button until you hear a beep. To turn the Controller off, press and hold the System button until you hear a beep. The controller automatically turns off when it is idled for a long time or when you exit SteamVR.

Pairing with HMD: Controller pairs with the HMD automatically when it is on. To manually pair, launch the SteamVR app, tap Down, then select Devices, and finally Pair Controller.

Updating Firmware: When SteamVR notifies you about outdated firmware, connect the controller to your PC with the microUSB cable to update automatically.

Base Stations Setup

Placing the base stations

  1. Mount the base stations diagonally at the opposite corners of your play area, ideally more than 2m (6 ft 6in) above ground.
  2. Use the mounting kits, tripods, book shelves, poles and light stands to mount the base stations. Find stable places and secure them so they cannot be easily moved or jostled.
  3. Make sure the front of the base stations is facing the center of the play area. Each base station has 120 degrees FOV. Tilt them about 30 to 45 degrees to fully cover the play area.
  4. Connect the base stations to power outlets with power cables.
  5. Connect the base stations and set channels:
    1. Without Sync Cable: Press the Channel buttons at the back of the base stations so that one base station is set to channel “b”, while the other is set to channel “c”.
    2. With Sync Cable: Press the Channel buttons at the back of the base stations so that one base station is set to channel “A”, while the other is set to channel “b”.

Using the mounting kits:

  1. Mark where you want to install each of the mounts on your wall, and then screw the mounts in.
  2. Rotate the base station to screw it onto the threaded ball joint. Do not screw the base station all the way in, only enough to be stable and oriented correctly.
  3. Tighten the wingnut to the base station to secure it in place.
  4. To adjust the angle of the base station, loosen the clamping ring while carefully holding the base station to prevent it from falling.
  5. Tilt the base station toward the play area.
  6. Connect the power cables to each base station and its power outlet.

Update base station firmware: When SteamVR indicates that base station firmware is out of date, unplug and unmount the base stations. Connect the base stations to the PC with a microUSB cable, one at a time. While pressing the Channel button at the back of the base station, plug in the base station’s power adapter. The update should start automatically once SteamVR detects the base station.

Play Area Setup

See also: #Play Area Requirements
  • The minimum space for a room-scale VR experience is 2m x 1.5m (6ft 6in x 5ft). Standing and seated VR experiences do not require much space.
  • Clear off furniture and other obstacles in the play area.
  • Place the PC near the play area. The HMD cable is 5m (16ft 4in) long.
  • Place the base stations diagonal to each other, on the opposite corners of the play area space. Make sure there are power outlets near the base stations. Use 12V extension cords as needed.
  • Do not leave your HMD in direct sunlight, since the display can be damaged.

Software Setup

  1. Download the setup from http://www.htcvive.com/SETUP
  2. Install Vive software
  3. Install Steam software
  4. Install SteamVR
  5. Launch SteamVR
  6. Pair HMD and Controllers from the SteamVR menu.

Setup Tips and Tricks

  • During Play Area Setup, the system asks you to point your controller at your computer monitor. The system performs this because it wants to establish the forward position in VR about 180 degrees from the monitor. It assumes that your computer is in the direction of the monitor and wants you to face opposite of the computer so your cables will go smoothly from the back of your head to the computer.
  • During the Play Area Setup, If you have trouble setting up the floor area, try placing your controllers upside down. It can give more accurate readings.
  • Be sure to turn on Enable Bluetooth communication in the General tab of the Settings. It not only allows you to connect your HMD to your phone but also makes your Base Stations "smarter". Now, when you don't have SteamVR on, your Base Stations will power down and go to stand by mode. You will no longer hear the humming noise created by the spinning gyroscopes inside the Base Stations.
  • Take a look at the Audio tab in the Settings. You can do things such as mirror your audio from VR in the speakers.
  • In Settings, you can enable the front facing camera in your HMD.
  • In VR, at the bottom of your controller, you not only have battery indicators but also left and right-hand signs to show which controller is for which hand.

Input Devices

SteamVR Controllers - One held in each hand. These controllers are tracked by the same system as the HMD (Lighthouse).

Other devices compatible with Steam

Accessories

Accessory Cost When
Purchased Separately
Base Station with AC $135
Controller with AC $130

Apps

HTC Vive Apps The Lab by Valve is available for free to all Vive users.

Connecting to Your Phone

Users can install the Vive mobile app on their phone from the App Store [3] or Google Play[4]. The apps enable the HTC Vive HMD to connect to mobile phones through Bluetooth. It allows the Vive HMD to receive calls, texts and calendar reminders while the user is in the VR experience.

To make phone calls, users need to download the Vive software package [5] for their PC. Now when they receive a call or text, they will be able to call back the individual through the Vive menu.

Developer

Tracking volume

See also: Tracking volume

To Be updated: Htc vive tracking volume1.png

120°H x 120°V (>21 feet range)

History

January 8, 2017 - HTC Pro Announced.

Images

To Be updated: Vive-pro pdp-01 hmd.png Htc vive cv1 controllers1.jpg

References

  1. VRcompare. HTC Vive Pro Specs. Retrieved from https://vr-compare.com/headset/htcvivepro
  2. Teston, C. (2017). HTC Vive vs. Oculus Rift – Design and hardware battle. Retrieved from https://news4c.com/htc-vive-vs-oculus-rift-design-and-hardware-battle/
  3. iTunes. HTC Vive. Retrieved from https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/htc-vive/id1091173853?mt=8
  4. Google Play. Vive. Retrieved from https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.htc.vivephoneservice&hl=en
  5. Vive. Welcome to Vive - Let's get you set up. Retrieved from https://www.htcvive.com/us/setup/

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