Hewlett Packard (HP) has unveiled its next-generation virtual reality headset, the HP Reverb, which doubles the display resolution over its predecessor.

HP was one of the first companies to announce support for Windows Mixed Reality back in August 2017 with a low-cost headset based on dual 1,440 x 1,440 displays offering an overall resolution of 2,880 x 1,440 total. Its successor, though, is not quite as affordable: Aimed primarily at the professional market, the HP Reverb doubles the resolution of its predecessor.

'As the commercial VR segment is expected to grow to $34 billion by 2022, customers are seeking lifelike VR viewing to help open doors to new business opportunities in product design, training, and engineering,' explains Spike Huang, vice president and global lead of VR at HP, in support of the company's decision to launch a follow-up to what was not a particularly successful product. 'The time for commercial VR is now and adding HP Reverb to our broader virtual reality portfolio is an important step in addressing this growing market.'

The HP Reverb is based on the same dual-panel display layout as the company's original design, but replaces the 1,440 x 1,440 panels with 2,160 x 2,160 versions for a 4,320 x 2,160 overall resolution. The field of view has also been increased up to 114 degrees, while weight has been dropped to just shy of 500g.

Other features of the HP Reverb include a pair of bundled motion controllers, which are pre-paired to a Bluetooth receiver built into the headset; inside-out tracking; integrated headphones with spatial audio support; dual microphones compatible with various smart assistant platforms; and removable, washable facemask cushions. Software support has been confirmed in both Windows Mixed Reality and Steam VR.

'With more than 2,500 VR experiences available and counting, Windows Mixed Reality continues to serve as the home for cutting-edge innovations that are fundamentally changing the way we work and play,' adds Alex Kipman, Microsoft technical fellow, in support of the former platform. 'The HP Reverb headset is an amazing example of the type of innovation we are seeing take place as we push forward and bring the next era of computing – the era of mixed reality – to the masses.'

The HP Reverb is set to launch in the US in late April with two flavours: The Professional Edition includes the headset, 3.5m cable, 0.6m cable for use with the optional HP Z VR Backpack wearable PC, two motion controllers, a single face cushion, and a DisplayPort to mini-DisplayPort adapter, and is priced at $649 (around £490 excluding taxes); the Consumer Edition drops the price to $599 (around £450 excluding taxes) and drops the washable fabric face cushion and 0.6m cable accessories. Both are a considerable jump from the $299 launch price of the original HP Windows Mixed Reality headset.

More information is available on the official product page.

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