HTC teases mobile virtual reality plans

HTC teases mobile virtual reality plans

HTC's Chia-lin Chang has confirmed that the PC-tethered Vive virtual reality headset will be joined by a mobile device before the end of the year.

HTC has confirmed plans to launch a mobile virtual reality headset, designed to sit alongside its tethered PC-linked Vive device and claimed to be more complex than smartphone-powered rivals like the Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream.

HTC's Vive virtual reality headset has been going toe-to-toe with Facebook's Oculus Rift, and regardless of whose sales figures you believe it's clearly doing well for a high-priced first-generation product - and at a time when HTC's traditional smartphone and tablet revenue is tanking. It's no surprise, then, that the company has the future in mind - but the fact it's going lower-end with a mobile VR headset is an interesting direction for the company to take, albeit one which should play to its strengths.

'We have a good plan in terms of combining mobility with VR,' claimed HTC's global sales president Chia-lin Chang during an interview with CNET at the launch of a new smartphone. 'Vive is very top end, and in the coming months you'll see our plans in terms of mobility and VR, and it's not a phone slapped onto a headset. It'd be a different thing.'

Exactly what form the mobile VR device would take is not clear: Chang's reference to 'a phone slapped onto a headset' clearly throws shade over the Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream, both of which require the user to insert a smartphone to act as both the driving system and the display, but whether that indicates that HTC's version would be a standalone device similar to Microsoft's HoloLens remains to be seen.

HTC has provided no more details on its launch plans, beyond hinting that the device is scheduled to launch before the end of the year.

1 Comment

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edzieba 16th February 2017, 15:54 Quote
With the limitation that:
The device will be compatible with HTC's new flagship phone, the U Ultra.
Then there are two choices:
1) Put the phone in a headset, with the phone screen used as the VR display
2) Link the phone to a headset with a cable, with the HMD having its own screen(s).

2 being the more expensive option, it only makes sense if your phone lacks a screen suitable for VR in the first place. 2 can also end up with turds like the LG 360 as manufacturers cut corners to keep the cost down.
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