HTC Vive – The Base of a VR Experience

Every VR experience is going to need some sort of headset or specialised equipment to put it into practice, and the HTC Vive is a good choice for the application I wish to develop. It needs to be paired with a computer that meets the Vive’s minimum specifications, which are:

Processor: Intel™ Core™ i5-4590 or AMD FX™ 8350, equivalent or better
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce™ GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon™ RX 480, equivalent or better. 
Memory: 4 GB RAM or more
Video output: 1x HDMI 1.4 port, or DisplayPort 1.2 or newer
USB: 1x USB 2.0 port or newer
Operating system: Windows™ 7 SP1, Windows™ 8.1 or later or Windows™ 10

…according to the HTC Vive website.  A computer with these specifications is likely going to be around $1000, but as computer technology improves, this cost will go down. The HTC Vive is around $800, at the moment, which is a cost that has to be accounted for.

But why choose the Vive over the Oculus or another VR headset? It’s a slightly cheaper pricepoint, and the controllers are, in my personal opinion, more intuitive to use.

Source: https://img2.cgtrader.com/items/696810/0dcf157847/large/htc-vive-handheld-controller-3d-model-max-obj-fbx.jpg

The button works as a touchpad as well as a mouse button, so it could be pretty effective for UI navigation. The actual motion of the controllers would be a good way to move around, taking inspiration from the SteamVR Demo’s way of moving.

The Vive also features front-facing cameras – these could be used to integrate live video of people in real life into applications, presenting them in a context more understandable to a dementia patient, or giving a way for depressive patients to remain grounded by giving them something else to focus on.

Reference: HTC. c2017. HTC Vive. [Online]. [25 May 2017]. Available from: https://www.vive.com/anz/product/

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