HTC launches new VR head­set

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - By MA SI masi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Tai­wan firm’s af­ford­able stand­alone de­vice to tar­get young con­sumers

Tai­wan-based HTC Corp un­veiled a pre­mium stand­alone vir­tual real­ity head­set for the main­land mar­ket on Tues­day, as part of its broad ef­forts to tar­get young con­sumers with a more af­ford­able de­vice.

With­out the need to be at­tached to a per­sonal com­puter or a smart­phone, Vive Fo­cus, as the new prod­uct is called, pro­vides un­lim­ited free­dom of mo­bil­ity while re­duc­ing the to­tal cost for users to own a pre­mium VR de­vice.

Alvin Graylin, head of HTC’s VR busi­ness in the main­land, said the ver­sion for de­vel­op­ers will soon be avail­able in the mar­ket and the spe­cific price tag will also be re­leased.

The new de­vice came af­ter Google said in Septem­ber that it would buy part of HTC’s smart­phone team for $1.1 bil­lion, which gives the lat­ter abun­dant cap­i­tal to up the ante in VR.

HTC is locked in a fierce race with Face­book Inc and Sony Corp to wres­tle con­trol over the emerg­ing in­dus­try.

On Tues­day, HTC also un­veiled Vive Wave, a VR open plat­form and toolset that is de­signed to pro­mote the de­vel­op­ment of mo­bile VR by re­duc­ing the time and ef­fort needed to trans­form PC VR con­tent into those suit­able for mo­bile de­vices.

About 12 hard­ware part­ners, in­clud­ing 360QIKU, Baofeng­mo­jing, Coocaa, iQIYI, Nu­bia, and Thun­der­comm, an­nounced their sup­port for the in­te­gra­tion of Vive Wave into their fu­ture prod­ucts.

Vive Wave al­lows de­vel­op­ers to cre­ate con­tent for a com­mon plat­form and store­front across var­i­ous hard­ware ven­dors, HTC said in a state­ment.

More than 35 global con­tent de­vel­op­ers have al­ready built VR con­tent op­ti­mized for Vive Wave, with 14 show­ing live demos at the Vive De­vel­oper Con­fer­ence held in Bei­jing on Tues­day.

Ac­cord­ing to Graylin, about 400 com­pa­nies in the main­land are work­ing on VR stand­alone prod­ucts, which are cre­at­ing dis­or­ders in both price and qual­ity.

“As the VR in­dus­try leader in China, it is our duty to help re­duce mar­ket frag­men­ta­tion and pro­vide con­tent de­vel­op­ers with more ways to make money,” he said.

“Vive Wave will as­sure a higher con­sis­tency in the user ex­pe­ri­ence on a va­ri­ety of mo­bile VR de­vices across var­i­ous price points, mak­ing qual­ity VR more ac­ces­si­ble to the mass mar­ket,” he added.

Jason Fan, chief op­er­a­tion of­fi­cer of Bei­jing Chuan­song Tech­nolo­gies Co Ltd, a startup which de­vel­oped a wire­less so­lu­tion for HTC Vive, said the new VR prod­uct is a right move to ed­u­cate con­sumers what VR is by bring­ing down the price of VR head­sets.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

A vis­i­tor checks out a Vive Fo­cus at a de­vel­oper con­fer­ence held in Bei­jing. Users can en­joy the de­vice with­out at­tach­ing it to per­sonal com­put­ers or smart phones.

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