HTC Vive headset headed to Shanghai VR event
Shanghai will be the next stop on a world tour organized by Taiwanese smartphone-maker HTC Corp. ( ) to showcase and promote its virtual reality (VR) headset among developers.
The HTC Vive headset will be featured at the SHVR Vive Jam on Aug. 14-16, a collaboration between HTC and the Shanghai VR Meetup that brings teams from across China to develop new functions and experiences using the device, tech news site Road to VR said in a report Monday.
The three-day SHVR, which is focused on the emerging VR technology sector, aims to create a local community that is enthusiastic about VR and willing to learn from and share with each other.
Virtual reality headsets enable users to enjoy experiences outside of actual reality. Its major application in the initial development stage is to enrich the user experience when participating in video games.
The Shanghai meeting will start with an introduction to room- scale game design and hands-on tests with the Vive system to give developers an understanding of its capabilities.
The next two days will be used to develop functions, and the team judged as creating the best experience will walk away with their own HTC Vive development kit.
With HTC’s support, the SHVR Vive Jam will be China’s largest VR jam, bringing together the best game developers, designers, 3D artists, and animators to experience the HTC Vive development kit and the SteamVR platform that powers the HTC Vive headset, Road to VR said.
The HTC Vive was first made available to developers earlier this year. The HTC Vive Developer Edition includes two single-handed wireless controllers, two base stations and the headset, allowing wearers to inspect objects from every angle and interact with their surroundings.
HTC is pursuing other avenues to expand its presence in the field and diversify away from its core smartphone business.
It announced in a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange on July 29 that it will invest nearly US$10 million to acquire a 15 percent stake in WEVR, a U.S.-based open VR platform and community.
The investment in WEVR, one of the first companies to begin development and testing with the HTC Vive, will be carried out through an HTC subsidiary.
VR devices as a whole are expected to grow rapidly over the next five years, with an average compound annual growth rate of 106 percent and combined shipments of 43 million units by 2020, according to forecasts by ABI Research.
“Sales of VR head mounted displays, including mobile-based devices like the Samsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard, as well as tethered devices like the Oculus Rift and Sony’s Morpheus, will be driven by the release of high-profile devices and a growing awareness and interest in the technology from consumers,” Eric Abbruzzese, a research analyst with ABI Research, said in a report on July 28.