HTC to push VR development with new partnership

HTC Vive & Oculus Rift 364

HTC today announced a new partnership with Alibaba Cloud to explore high performance, price-competitive VR solutions, that scale.

The new partnership will be focused on overcoming all the current technology restrictions that are associated with the current generations of virtual reality headsets. HTC and Alibaba Cloud will be looking at features like data transmission, bandwidth restrictions, and data processing. The companies also plan on combining their developers to create a VR cloud service to extend HTC’s VR app store Viveport to Alibaba’s Cloud computing platform.

“Cloud computing has continuously broken the boundaries of what we thought possible, accelerating the rate of innovation. The partnership between Alibaba Cloud and HTC will bring two of the world’s most disruptive technologies together to bring more value to businesses looking to leverage VR and cloud. This partnership will accelerate the development of VR technology in China and encourage widespread, global adoption.” said Ge JIN, Business Architect Director at Alibaba Cloud.

Combining virtual reality technology with cloud computing could tackle some of the biggest problems associated with the platform by conserving bandwidth and offloading processing power from the host system. For example Alibaba Cloud recently helped a VR team from Zhejiang University to render a three-minute 360-degree VR video in only 3 days. The required computing capacity for the video was 100,000 processor cores, equivalent to non-stop processing by a 12-core high performance server for more than 8,000 hours.

“We are excited to partner with Alibaba Cloud, as we believe it will be a landmark collaboration between the VR and cloud computing industries. By utilizing the cloud computing expertise and enabling 500k developer community built on Alibaba Cloud, HTC Vive will be able to provide more reliable resources to VR content developers, while delivering smoother access and richer content to VR consumers on our Viveport content store in China.”  said Alvin Wang Graylin, China Regional President of Vive, HTC.

The move towards Cloud computing is inevitable, with many services and hardware providers looking to cloud resources for the processing power it offers, as well as the reduced cost. It will be interesting to see how virtual reality holds on with this model given the requirement for low-latency transfer speeds, but hopefully the HTC and Alibaba Cloud partnership will begin to answer some of these questions.

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