HTC Vive Air Leaked as an iF Design Award Entry

HTC Vive Air
Source: iF Design Awards

It’s no secret that HTC is about to release a new VR headset because the company has published several teaser images on its Twitter account, suggesting its plans to introduce the device at VIVECON 2021. It now seems that VIVECON attendees have one less surprise to look forward to because the iF Design Awards just published an award entry page showing a new fitness-oriented headset called Vive Air.

We know that the headset targets the fitness crowd because of the description on the iF Design Awards page:

“VIVE Air VR headset is specially designed for virtual fitness, optimized for high intensity with long use. Inspired by sports shoes, the new headset introduces knitted materials to VR to provide unprecedented comfort and fit,” states the description. “The breathable and quick-drying fabrics improve ventilation in the heated exercise. The innovative lightweight structure allows users to forget the presence of the head-mounted display to focus on virtual content. The quick-release design allows the removal of ergonomic soft components for washing.”

Overall, the design of the headset could be described as the blend of the Oculus Quest and generic mesh fabric sneakers. In addition to what has already been stated, there are four camera sensors for room-scale tracking. The same sensors could possibly be also used for hand tracking, but we can’t confirm this at the moment. What’s not visible on the currently available pictures are any buttons, volume controls, and connectors.

The good news is that more information about the headset will almost certainly be published at VIVECON 2021, which will take place on May 12 and May 13.

Home fitness is one of the fastest-growing VR niches, with games like FitXR, VZFit, and Beat Saber regularly topping the charts by attracting hardcore and casual players alike. A fitness-oriented VR headset, especially one that’s affordably priced, could help expand this market segment even more.

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