HP thrusts itself into VR development with new workstation and headset

HP thrusts itself into VR development with new workstation and headset

At Solidworks World, HP touted its Z4 Workstation for engineering, simulation, rendering and virtual reality.

In addition to the VR Launch Kit for Unreal Engine announcement, HP has also extended its Device-as-a-Service (DaaS) offering to VR solutions.

HP also revealed its pro mixed reality headset that adds swappable and washable face pads to the consumer model.

"The revamped Z4 workstation, along with our latest HP Windows Mixed Reality Headset and new customer-friendly VR solutions and services, will transform the way products across industries are developed", said Xavier Garcia, Vice President and general manager, Z Workstations, HP Inc. HP's "recommended minimum" specifications call for DX12-capable graphics, like a NIVIDA GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon Pro WX 7100. Taking about the Z4 Workstation, it comes with the latest Intel X-series processors. The headset provides six degrees of freedom with no tracking boundaries and includes wireless motion controllers.

In October 2017, HP began shipping a consumer version of the headset, starting at $329 with the rollout of Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. Beyond that, the new headset features the same design as the earlier one, including a liberal amount of padding around the headstrap, and displays running at 1,440 by 1,440 for each eye. That's not all the company has to offer on the VR side of things, announcing a collaboration with Unreal Engine on the creation of a VR Launch Kit for Unreal Engine.

The company is expanding its Device as a Service (DaaS) to include VR products as part of the new push.

Prices for the VR-focused Z4 start at $1,499 (£1,070), which should yield a spec that's got enough grunt to get started with VR. The HP Windows Mixed Reality Headset is expected to be available in March 2018 for $449.