The virtual reality revolution begins now. Well, as long as you’ve been quick to pre-order the consumer variant of the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive headset, and lucky enough to actually receive them among the very first in the world.
Hot on the heels of its arch-rival, the HTC and Valve co-developed Vive started “arriving at homes around the world” yesterday, with orders placed at the time of this writing estimated to be fulfilled “around May.”
Hailed by reviewers as “truly immersive”, game-changing and mesmerizing, the VR contraption is by no means affordable, costing $800 stateside by itself, and further requiring the brains of an expensive Windows PC.
There are no discounts on the horizon either, but what HTC can do to increase Vive’s appeal is continue to improve its software. The latest baby step in the right direction sees the head-mounted display capable of easily synching to Android phones running 4.4 KitKat and up for notification-showing purposes.
If you’ve at least test driven one of these groundbreaking puppies, you know how addictive the virtual reality experience can get, making you lose sight of what’s actually happening around you. Thus, instead of having to break the fantasy and take off the goggles whenever you remember to check your phone, the HTC Vive brings real-life alerts to the virtual world, courtesy of Bluetooth connectivity and easy computer setup.
First, of course, you’ll need to download the free Phone Companion app from the Play Store, and once it’s enabled, you can choose to receive notifications of incoming calls, text messages and calendar reminders, and even send back quick automatic replies if you don’t want to be interrupted. Antisocial mode – activated.