The Cosmos is a VR headset and controller combination that abandons the lighthouse system of the Vive offering freedom from "external base stations." HTC is promoting the Cosmos as a comfortable and easy to use alternative to the current headsets on the market.
HTC Vive American general manager Daniel O'Brien spoke about the new option. According to him, 85 percent of VR users consider easy set-up as one of the most important factors when using VR.
"We believe Cosmos will make VR more easily accessible to those who may not have invested in VR before and also be a superior experience for VR enthusiasts."
We also notice a lack of wires in promotional materials, as well as the claim that it can be an on-the-go VR option.
How exactly the liberated system works is not clear at this time. The Cosmos will still require separate hardware to run the games and programs it supports. But according to HTC, it "has the capability to be powered by more than a traditional gaming PC." Imagery on the promo video implies that it can also be powered via the user's smartphone.
It's also possible that the video was implying that users will be able to see and interact with their smartphones while using the Cosmos. Having to remove the headset to respond to a text is a hassle, no doubt.
Developer kits for the HTC Vive Cosmos will start shipping in early 2019, pricing and availability were not stated at this time.