Vive Pro Gets AR Features With New Front-Facing Camera Tools

The latest developer tools from HTC provide an augmented reality boost to the company's flagship virtual reality headset.

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The VR scene is big and only getting bigger. Vive manufacturer HTC in particular is making some substantial moves, as the company has just announced a new suite of development tools that can make use of the Vive Pro's front-facing cameras to bring the magic of augmented reality into virtual reality experiences.

The latest SRWorks SDK tools on offer from HTC allow developers to make use of things like spatial mapping data and captured depth to produce the types of images and virtual recreations inherent to augmented reality software on other platforms. The dev kit also allows the Vive Pro and its connected software to map direct user input via the player's hands, without need for any sort of connected controller.

The bulk of these possibilities are made possible through three new modules: one for depth sensing and spatial mapping, one for 3D construction, and a dedicated "see-through" module that presumably does its best to sync up images of the real world to the Vive Pro display. After all, the trick of compelling VR and AR experiences involves making sure the user isn't actively aware that they're within a piece of software, allowing the game world to look and feel as organic and natural as possible.

Players who want to get a closer look at some of the new dev kit's power can watch the video featured above, which gives an example of how the spatial mapping module is able to create a map of the user's environment. Altogether, the power of AR and VR combined is quite clear, and game fans are certain to be interested in seeing what kind of new experiences the blend of technology can be used to create.

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