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Fast Company Announces “Innovation by Design” Award Honorees
With precision-cut patterns in the faceplate and a metallic blue color, the HTC VIVE Cosmos headset is striking even at a glance. And it’s the function behind the form that makes it a worthy honoree in the Fast Company Innovation by Design Awards.
We sat down with the team behind the design to get the scoop on all the ways the Cosmos Series is more than meets the eye.
First of all, congrats! We know a lot of hard work went into designing the Cosmos Series and we’re eager to learn more about what went into it. Let’s start with the obvious – the filigree-like holes that cover the faceplate. What’s the story on those?
Thank you! We’re honored to have been chosen. The precision-cut pattern in the front of the HMD actually functions as thermal venting to help maintain comfort while you’re in VR. It allows the heat to escape through the faceplate so you don’t get as hot as you would otherwise.
What other design elements did you incorporate to address comfort?
The halo cradle architecture is a new solution the team took to improve comfort. This method relieves the concentrated pressure and force applied surrounding the nose, cheek, and eye area to a more distributed, broader surface on the forehead for enhanced comfort. The headset was thoughtfully designed to accommodate a wide range of face shapes and vision considerations–and even fits over glasses. The face gasket has carefully considered cuts to enhance the ergonomics for those who wear glasses. The team achieved this while maintaining a good light seal, which is critical to any face gasket design.
What else makes the Cosmos Series unique in design?
It’s the world’s first PC-VR system with a suite of modular option. Because we built it on a chassis system, the core headset can change functionalities through the swappable faceplates. For example, current faceplates include one for improved inside-out controller tracking with two additional cameras and the other enables precision lighthouse tracking for the headset. This lets customers upgrade their headsets at a lower cost and reduces potential e-waste and environmental impact.
Are there other special design functions that aren’t obvious at first look?
Yes, the integration of a flip-up display lets users quickly switch between reality and virtual reality, taking a break from immersive experiences without removing and readjusting the head strap. This feature is especially useful for developers and content creators who need to quickly switch between viewing VR and computer screens, or people who need to pop out of an experience to check on the clock or answer a phone call.
To check out the Vive Cosmos and Cosmos Elite for yourself, go here: https://www.vive.com/us/product/vive-cosmos/