HTC Vive, Amazon & Mozilla Take VR Web Integration to the Next Level

Mozilla promotes various VR sites and activities available with its Firefox Reality browser

Mozilla promotes VR sites and activities available with its Firefox Reality browser. Screenshot by Stephen Shankland CNET

Today at CES it took the wraps off two new products: the Vive Pro Eye and the Vive Cosmos.

The lack of clarity gave the impression that HTC still doesn't have a high-quality veneer with its launches - that it doesn't have a clear, defined strategy for getting its VR platform in the hands of millions of paying consumers.

Last but not least, HTC is working with both Firefox and Amazon AWS to reinvent the web for VR.

'We found that over 85 percent of VR intenders believe that ease of use and set up is the most important factor to consider while purchasing a headset, ' claims HTC Vive's Daniel O'Brien, focusing on the confirmation that the Vice Cosmos won't require any external tracking base stations.

The Cosmos' main focus is on comfort. The Vive Cosmos will not feature eye tracking and will rely on handheld controllers. For example, the VR software Lockheed Martin uses to train new pilots will use eye tracking to examine reaction times and focus. Another notable feature of the Vive Cosmos is customization, with HTC promising that the company will keep upgrading the device with a wide array of modules that will be showcased soon. The all new pixel-packed real RGB displays with minimal screen door effect delivers crystal clear graphics bringing every detail in VR alive.

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What is the most exciting news you've heard so far during CES 2019?

Because, if we haven't made it clear enough yet, VR is still a really cool experience. HTC is aiming to launch the new Vive Pro Eye headset variant in the second quarter of this year, but it hasn't revealed pricing at this time. The Vive Cosmos can be paired with a PC, and will get smartphone connectivity in the future.

Even the flip up cover of the HTC Vive Cosmos feels like a nod to the movie Ready Player One, similar to the movie poster that shows the protagonist flipping in and out of the virtual worlds. HTC says it's "an evolution in the enterprise VR space" which tells you who it's aimed at.

Unfortunately, little else was shared about Cosmos, including a release date or price point. In the meantime, I'm going to continue being rather excited about a VR headset that uses eye-tracking.

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