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HTC Vive mixed image

HTC Plans to Launch Mobile VR Device in 2017

Will the device be standalone or smartphone powered?

In the world of virtual reality (VR) head-mounted displays (HMDs) sales have been dominated by mobile devices such as Samsung Gear VR which offer a cheaper, entry level alternative to costly headsets like Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. This trend is likely to continue and HTC is very well aware of this fact, recently revealing plans of its own for 2017.

During the HTC U series launch event in Singapore, HTC Chief Financial Officer Chia-lin Chang said in an interview with CNET that: “We have a good plan in terms of combining mobility with VR.

“Vive is very top end, and in the coming months you’ll see our plans in terms of mobility and VR, and it’s not a phone slapped onto a headset,” Chang added. “It’d be a different thing.”

HTC Vive product 1

Up to now the majority of mobile VR HMDs have revolved around smartphone enabled devices like Gear VR and Google’s Daydream View, as it means the headsets aren’t expensive and can be easily used with a device most people have already acquired. From these comments though, its sounds as if HTC plans on making an all-in-one headset similar to that of the Pico Neo CV, an untethered device that houses all of the computing power needed to run experiences.

But CNET also note that HTC’s new flagship phone, the U Ultra would be compatible with the headset. If this is the case then it could mean the smartphone does power the device, but rather than slotting in its front its could be cabled so a users phone can stay in their pocket.

That leaves a lot of unanswered questions some of which might just be answered in the coming weeks, with the Game Developers Conference and the Mobile World Congress both taking place at the end of the month. Chang also noted that the launch would happen by the end of 2017. 

As VRFocus learns more about HTC’s mobile plans we’ll report back.

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