During one of TVA's CFC fundraisers, I was able to experience the HTC Vive. I was very impressed by the high precision of the tracking and the interactivity that you were able to experience using the Vive's controllers. I purchased one for my own personal use and I am happy to present my initial report.
The HTC Vive requires the use of 2 sensors, which need to be mounted at least 6.5 feet high. I purchased 2 photographer stands so that I was able to reposition them as needed, instead of using the included stands, which would have required that I drill holes in the wall. The tracking felt very precise so I did not fiddle too much with their positioning. The sensors go into sleep mode when the headset is turned off.
The room setup involved me using one of the controllers to mark the extents of my play area. As you near these borders, a virtual wall shows up to let you know you may collide with an object. I have my borders smaller than the physical boundaries, that way I have some "safe" space. The only time when I manage to impact the real world was when I hit the ceiling with one of my controllers as I was trying to throw a virtual object.
As of the writing of this post, I have experienced the following applications:
The Gallery - Episode 1: Call of the Starseed
Hot Dogs, Horseshoes and Hand Grenades
IKEA VR Experience
Trials on Tatooine
Zombie Training Simulator
I will write a separate review for each application in the near future. I was quite amazed at the VR experience in my few hours. At first, I did not spend much time with the headset, but as I was able to make it more comfortable, by adjusting the straps and running the cable through support hooks which I attached to the ceiling. I feel very comfortable in the VR environment, after about 50 hours of interaction. I do believe that VR has a bright future, but I wish that the headset was a little lighter and that there was a better way to manage the sweat which was accumulating as a natural result of continued use.