The HTC Vive Cosmos has been known as an underperforming headset so far, but the developers and designers of this headset are looking to change the narrative by overhauling software updates that are changing the entire way people use the headset. There is no better way to get started on the what the customers want than getting a beta program going, and that is exactly what Vive has been doing in the last couple weeks.
To enroll in the beta program, you don’t need a developer code like most companies require. Vive is trying to get their newer ideas out to the public as quickly as possible, and to as many people as possible. The developers notes from the latest beta released have been made public. We will drop the exact notes below, and include our biggest takeaways underneath the dev notes.
- Improved low light tracking, with better prediction during fast movements.
- Reduced tracking jitter when using Vive Wireless Adapter.
- Improved low light tracking stability. The minimum brightness requirement for reliable tracking is now 60% lower.
- Improved high brightness tracking stability. The controllers will now track much better against a bright background, such as windows and studio lights.
- Improved prediction models for the case when a controller exits the headset’s FOV.
- Positional recovery is now faster and more accurate when returning into the headset’s FOV.
- Improved near HMD tracking, up to 10 cm/4 in from the HMD.
- Improved slow movement occlusion tracking prediction, which will help with content where the controllers are frequently occluding one another.
- Improved the tracking algorithm to be better at ignoring other Cosmos controllers and patterns that may resemble the Cosmos controller, especially when the connected pair are out of the headset’s FOV.
*We will be continuously improving all aspects of the tracking algorithm in future updates.
- Fixed Error Code 210 runtime bug.
- Error Code 210 on MSI laptops identified. Affected users should reach out to MSI Technical Support to get an updated new V-BIOS.
- Fixed a bug with the play area boundary transparency settings and fine-tuned its appearance behavior.
- Optimized the camera passthrough vignetting to better align and render safety boundaries.
- Added error logging and troubleshooting for SteamVR compositor crashes, installation path and cases involving Safe Mode.
- Improved mapping of error codes for edge case situations.
- Optimized tracking pose prediction to improve visual experience.
- Resolved an issue where the IPD display would sometimes show when the HMD was moving quickly.
- Fixed a bug where the DisplayPort connection errors would pop up before the connection had time to stabilize.
- Added Beta Release Notes and a link to all VIVE Cosmos Release Notes.
- Fixed registry issues caused by switching Windows accounts and installation changes.
OOBE & Room Setup
- Fixed a bug where a transparent window would appear during setup when the HMD was connected.
- Fixed a bug where UI elements and Russian fonts were displayed incorrectly at 4K monitor resolution.
- Improved the animation explaining how to put on the HMD during setup and updated the Cosmos Setup shortcut icon.
- Updated and improved the animations and instructions for Room Setup.
- Improved the accuracy of the Cosmos-compatible filtering behavior.
- The Lens will no longer prevent launching of incompatible or unoptimized Cosmos titles from your Library. Instead, a warning icon will be displayed on top of thumbnails for titles that may not be compatible with Cosmos. However, it will launch properly.
- Added “New Releases” store carousel on the VIVEPORT page.
- Added support for limited-time trial content and ability to correctly indicate its access permissions.
- Added language support for Italian and Russian.
- Fixed bugs with French voice output.
Takeaway 1. Because the Cosmos is so futuristic and new, there are plenty of titles that are unplayable because the lens doesn’t support it. Its impressive that Vive is taking that wall down and simply warning users that it won’t be working as perfectly as possible. You will still be able to launch the title, but of course, they don’t recommend it.
Takeaway 2. The Vive Cosmos team is still striving to make the headset tracking and controller tracking better, especially in low light. Rightfully so, as the tracking so far has been nothing short of awful. The beta is improving it and the public releases are showing some promise as well. They didn’t do it perfectly the first time, and that might have been because they are trying to reinvent the wheel. Let’s see if there are any hardware mods that can help this in the future.
Takeaway 3. There is plenty we could put in this last takeaway, but we would like to highlight the length and meat in this dev note. Rarely you see beta notes this big, and when you do, they are a lot of little updates. Vive isn’t here to mess around. When you read through these notes, they are incredibly thick with new and improved updates. Each bullet holds something valuable, and it isn’t going to be overlooked. Obviously they didn’t release this headset perfect, but their road is looking more bright than ever.
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