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Since HTC Vive Cosmos was initially announced back in January of this year, little else has been said about HTC's newest VR headset until September 12 when full specifications were revealed. Ahead of its official release on October 3, VR-All-Art had the privilege to test the device and all of its new features.
HTC Vive Cosmos has six camera trackers and uses inside-out tracking. Unlike previous HTC Vive headsets which required external trackers, the Cosmos doesn’t, although they can be purchased separately for an upgraded experience. Likewise, an optional faceplate add-on, the External Tracking Module, will also be available to ensure Cosmos is compatible with 1.0 and 2.0 Lighthouse base stations. During live testing, we did notice some issues with the tracking, but we expect these bugs will be fixed when the final version of Cosmos is released.
One of the biggest benefits of HTC Vive Cosmos is how straightforward the setup is. As most of our clients are first-time users, making sure we provide them with gear they can easily use is our top priority - and HTC certainly did not disappoint. Moreover, Cosmos is much more mobile than its predecessors. By packing the headset and PC into a backpack, our clients have mobile galleries at their fingertips. And because Cosmos doesn’t require external trackers, a large number of headsets can be utilized at the same time in a small space without causing mutual interference.
In terms of building the best commercial headset on the market, HTC has decidedly taken a big step in the right direction with Cosmos’ inside-out tracking. Oculus Quest recently announced Oculus Link, a software update that will enable a connection between Quest and a PC via a USB-C cable. With this upgrade on the horizon, HTC is facing strong competition on the market. However, it seems to us like Cosmos isn’t aiming to compete with Quest at all, but is rather designed to be the direct successor of the original HTC Vive. Based on our first experience with Cosmos we have high expectations of HTC, and hope to see even better commercial headsets in the future as the market for VR headsets is becoming increasingly more competitive.
Following the end of the local lockdown in Serbia, the VR-All-Art team has continued working on the latest planned exhibition of prehistoric art and artifacts from Vinca culture, one of the largest prehistoric archaeological sites in Europe. The team scanned over thirty of the most significant figurines from the Neolithic in three locations with the latest 3D scanning technology.
As the global lockdown progresses, cultural institutions remain inaccessible, closed to the audiences indefinitely. To counteract this unfortunate situation, VR-All-Art has decided to open its platform several months ahead of schedule. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting social distancing, cultural institutions across the globe remain closed to the public and the only way to reach their audience is online.
Due to recent events that have affected us all, but perhaps especially cultural institutions such as museums, we are working quicker than ever on moving as much art and cultural heritage into virtual reality as possible, so that anyone can enjoy and draw endless inspiration from art and culture wherever they are on the planet.