HTC might have been known most for their mobile phones over the years but their future may well be fair and square in the Virtual Reality space as the use-cases for their HTC Vive grow almost daily.
In Barcelona I took the chance to test out the new and yet to be released Vive Pro. The company had a bunch of demos setup at Mobile World Congress including business applications such as Volkswagen who are using the Vive for staff training.
Then there’s the zombie apocalypse you can be part of with a virtual gun to take them all out and defend yourself. But it’s not the gaming that impressed me most.
Manchester United have a HTC Vive in use at their training facility to test and work out players in rehab returning from injury.
It works with the standard Vive sensors, in the corners of the room these sensors work out where you are facing, looking and how the Vive controllers in your hands are moving. Yet in this demo sensors are placed onto your shoes and shin-pads.
These extra sensors mean you can see your feet and move them freely – it’s almost crazy. I was blown away to see “my feet” when I looked down.
Because the foot has a sensor separate to the shin, you can twist your foot and move it like it’s real.
In the application I was shown, footballs were thrown toward me, I had to stop them, then kick them into a goal. It was compelling, addictive and so very realistic.
I can genuinely imagine this being applied to various sports where technique and repetitive training can enhance performance.
There’s no on-sale date for the Vive pro, but with a road-map that includes a wireless adapter for the headset to set you free there’s little doubting HTC’s leadership in this space.