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Which VIVE is better for developer?


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Hi everyone,

I want to be developer of HTC VIVE product. However ı haven't made a decision yet.
Which one is bettter? HTC VIVE PRO or HTC VIVE COSMOS?

In addition to all SDK's shared by HTC, does it apply to all products?


Best Regards.

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@tstark - It really depends on what your target ultimately is. Generally speaking - we'd recommend developers use the Vive Pro (full kit with 2.0 tracking) due to the higher precision tracking and because it's simply designed for a much larger range of use cases. It has more ergonomic adjustments so you can fine tune the HMD to yourself and you can use the HMD natively alongside other SteamVR devices like the Index controllers (knuckles). It's also important to keep in mind that the bulk of Vive owners are using Vive wands and so you'll want to ensure you have a pair of wands to calibrate your input mapping.

The SDK situation is very project dependent. At a high level:

  • You'll need to integrate or enable the OpenVR/SteamVR SDK/plugin in your project to drive any sort of input or output to any Desktop Vive HMDs (Original Vive, Pro, or Cosmos). You'll also need to integrate this SDK to drive IO to other SteamVR devices.
  • There's a high level overview of our Vive SDK's here. There is some hardware dependency https://developer.vive.com/resources/  None of them are flat out required but they can bring out specific hardware dependent features

If you have any specific questions - feel free to post here and I'll try my best to answer your questions or connect you to a subject matter specialist.


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  • 3 months later...

This is the closest post I saw to my question.  I would like to develop a very low level C or C++ interface to just the tracker and get its position and orientation with as little overhead as possible. I would like to avoid all the SDKs etc and use the lowest level I can.  LibVive seems close, but it appears to be for controllers and not specifically for trackers.  If possible, I would connect the tracker to something small like an arduino or Teensy and send positions data over network.  I am familiar with these devices, and don;t really want to have to get a mini PC etc.

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@SimonW - Please see this post from Triad Semiconductor  on how to use SteamVR tracking without an HMD.

SteamVR hardware tracking is a highly proprietary system per Valve. The entire system is underpined by the "Watchman" system which is a hardware solution which drives the sensors - all heavily proprietary. For instance, they're able to achieve a ~93% compression ratio on the data that gets sent over bluetooth back to the PC. For all essential purposes, OpenVR/SteamVR SDK and the SteamVR runtime are the only way to query a pose from any SteamVR tracked device. You can't really interface with the tracking hardware directly - the closest anybody has come has been CNLohr's reverse engineering attempt but he only got so far, even with help from Valve.

You may be able to work with Valve directly by becoming a SteamVR licensee but between the effort of doing so, buying an HDK kit, ect... It's not really practical (and is very $$$) and only makes sense if you actually are building a tracked device, and even then - you still hit proprietary roadblocks and I'm not sure you get direct hardware access.

So overall, you really should just use a PC with the SteamVR runtime and the OpenVR SDK. It's how the system was designed to be used and if you try to use it any other way, you're probably going to get very far. It's going to be cheapest, fastest, and easiest to use SteamVR tracked hardware as it's intended and designed to be used. You could browse around the SteamVR HDK forum but as it pertains to Vive tracker, it's not really worth the effort to try and circumnavigate SteamVR/OpenVR as that's the archstone of the entire system and you likely won't succeed in finding a working solution without input from Valve. 

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