HTC has released an early access build of a new SDK that enables developers to unlock and utilise the HTC Vive Pro's front cameras. That means they can incorporate the real world into their virtual experiences and games, making the headset a full augmented reality device.
Windows Mixed Reality headsets have been able to do this from the off and have been gaining traction of late. HTC clearly wants some of that action and the dual cameras on the front of the HTC Vive Pro are perfectly placed to provide similar capabilities.
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Initially, the front-facing cameras on the outside of the Vive Pro headset were thought to be for additional sensor purposes, and that might still be the case. However, by giving developers the option to use them for wearer benefit, software variations can be wider in future.
Imagine playing Doom but the demons are popping up from behind your sofa. Or host a giant game of Space Invaders on your living room wall.
And you could get rid of those intrusive wireframe barriers as you'll be able to see exactly where you are in your play environment.
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Unfortunately, the Vive Pro's cameras aren't the highest of resolutions, so the real world images inside the headset won't be the best, but it's definitely a start. And it's another cool feature that marks the Vive Pro as more advanced than the original Vive.
If you are a developer, you can get the SRWorks SDK in early access from HTC here.