It’s been less than a year since the HTC Vive virtual reality headset launched, but the Taiwan-based company is still best known for its smartphones. Today, at a launch event in Singapore for its new HTC U series of phones, a company executive confirmed it is working on some kind of mobile VR device, but it might not be what people first expect.
At first glance, you might think HTC will offer some kind of headset that would use a smartphone for its display, similar to the Samsung Gear VR or Google’s Daydream View. However, in a chat with CNET, Chia-lin Chang, HTC’s president of global sales, stated flat out that what the company is working on is “not a phone slapped onto a headset.” He added that whatever this device is, HTC plans to launch it before the end of 2017. The VR device will also be compatible with the U Ultra, HTC’s new flagship device.
This is an interesting statement from HTC, and we wonder if this headset will be a standalone product that won’t require a phone, but will still have cellular wireless features so that people can connect to a app download store. If it is a standalone device, there are also questions about its battery life, how big its display might be and more.
We certainly think that the company has learned a lot about VR by developing the HTC Vive, even if it is a PC accessory that has to stay connected to the computer. We are certain those lessons will be used and put into its mystery mobile VR device.
However, the competition won’t be sitting down while HTC works on its mobile VR project. Samsung has already confirmed that it is developing a new version of the Gear VR, along with an all-new product that will support augmented reality features similar to Microsoft’s HoloLens.
What do you think HTC’s mobile VR device might be like?