At the launch of their Vive Cosmo VR headsets HTC also showed off two new designs the company is working on which appears much more interesting.
Project Proton is meant to make mixed reality headsets look much closer to traditional glasses, and does away with the complicated AR optics by simply using pass-through video from the front-facing video cameras.
“This sort of passthrough means that virtual objects could, in theory, be implemented into a real-world setting thanks to a duo of high-quality cameras on the faceplate itself,” notes TrustedReviews. “HTC hopes this leads to some interesting applications both at home and in the workplace. Imagine meeting with your colleagues in virtual reality instead of a stuffy office space.”
Passthrough video, of course, is a lot cheaper and easier to achieve, and can offer a wider field of view and greater immersion, but suffers from issues such as latency and introduces nausea to the AR field.
The headset will come in 2 variations.
Proton Glass would be much closer to real glasses and would offload processing to a smartphone via the tether which drops from your right ear.
Proton AIO would be much bulkier and would have onboard processing, though HTC said it would not have 5G due to radiation concerns so close to your skull.
The headsets were meant to be revealed at MWC 2020, which has of course now been cancelled. HTC said it had a working prototype but has not said if or when the headsets were to enter production, saying:
“Project Proton is a prototype of a future XR glasses-style device from HTC Vive that we hope to hear feedback on from the community as we continue to work on the product.”
What do our readers think of the designs? Let us know below.