I Got To Try HTC's Latest Virtual Reality Prototype, And It Has A Big Leg Up On Facebook's Oculus Rift
(Steven Tweedie/Business Insider)
One of the motion controllers for the HTC Vive Pre.
The earlier version of the Vive had this sort of chaperone, but it was entirely virtual. The camera found on the Vive Pre, on the other hand, now merges the two worlds into one, showing a stylized version of the people and objects beyond that virtual barrier so you can not only see that your room's doorway is inches away but also that your friend is standing on the other side, too.
That's huge. I actually conducted a majority of my interview with the HTC representative entirely in VR, and thanks to the front-facing camera, I could see exactly where he was in the room. When he brought in a chair from the other room, I was able to keep the headset on and see where he placed it before going to sit down on the "virtual" chair within the headset that was indeed matched up perfectly with the real-world chair.