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HTC Is Designing A Mobile VR Headset

By Victor Thomson , Feb 16, 2017 01:59 AM EST
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HTC, the developer of successful Vive VR headset, is planning to go mobile with its VR division this year. The company is reportedly working on a headset that would blend virtual reality and mobility.

HTC To Launch Mobile VR

VR allows headset wearers to immerse into a computer-generated digital world. Over the last few years, this emerging technology has swept across various applications with the industry. HTC is one of the top players in the VR field, with its high-end Vive system.

The downside of the HTC Vive VR is the fact that requires a pricey, powerful PC in order to run. Other companies have launched some more affordable options like the Google Daydream View or Gear VR. These mobile VR units work by connecting the smartphone to a cheap VR headpiece. It appears that HTC's upcoming follow-up to the Vive VR could bridge the gap between these two types of system.

According to CNET, HTC CFO Chia-lin Chang said during an HTC U Ultra event this week that the company would soon launch a headset that would blend VR and mobility. While the current product of the company, the Vive VR unit, is a PC-powered, high-end gadget, there is the possibility to create a mobile-friendly similar experience. But HTC's version of mobile VR headset won't be just a smartphone connected to a headset, like Samsung's Gear VR.

HTC plans to launch its mobile VR unit before the end of the year. For the moment, the company did not release more details about its project. What we do know for sure at the moment is the fact that the upcoming device will be compatible with the U Ultra, HTC's new flagship phone. But it is still unclear if the upcoming mobile VR headset will not connect to a smartphone at all, or just add on something extra to make the experience more powerful. One possibility, according to tech experts, would be that the gadget will come with real controllers able to take interaction beyond what even Daydream can do.

HTC's Position On The VR Market

According to tech analysts, consumer adoption of VR technology is going to be driven by mobile. This is the reason why HTC comes with its new project, making sure it can both participate in that growth and help the industry's advance forward. The company has found a way to ride the wave of mobile VR, as well as to get back their relevance in mobile with the U Ultra and Pixel smartphones.

According to Venture Beat, in the year 2016, HTC sold around 420,000 Vive headsets. This year, the company is expected to sell around 1.34 million units. It appears that HTC's shift in focus to VR comes as the Taiwanese company continues to encounter difficulties with its core phone business.

HTC just disclosed poor fourth quarter financial results on Tuesday, Feb. 14. The company's revenue dropped 14 percent to about $722 million, having an operating loss of about $116 million. It seems that HTC's plans on virtual reality continue to stay high, but it remains to be seen whether the technology will live up to the hype set last year.

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