After the initial “wow” effect at the launch of the first HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, the market has suffered a setback but continues to evolve. In anticipation of the next version of PlayStation VR, the market is dominated by Facebook and its Oculus Quest 2.
Thanks to Facebook’s monstrous R&D budget, Oculus was able to develop a convenient standalone headset that can be connected to a PC for an even richer experience. Today, Evan Blass, aka EvLeaks, reveals his competitor whose design is sure to be discussed: HTC Vive Flow.
The biggest weakness of virtual reality remains the size of the hardware. We can make helmets without satellite cameras to install in our living room, but the object itself remains quite heavy to carry.
In the first published images, HTC Vive Flow seems to address this problem with a design that looks more like simple glasses than a helmet. Obviously the object remains very bulky in the photos: we are far from the simple goggles and closer to large ski goggles, but the progress towards the classic VR viewers is undeniable.
With this design, HTC is mainly aiming at the portability of the object, but the question arises spontaneously: will it have sufficient autonomy? It’s a broad enough question and several converge: can this headset be used wirelessly thanks to a built-in battery? Does it necessarily require the use of a PC or smartphone to work? How long will the battery be used? We cannot answer these questions in the images revealed by Evleaks.
You can still see a smartphone in most of the photos, and one of them explicitly mentions the possibility of Bluetooth pairing with the smartphone. Another shows using a smartphone as a remote for HTC Vive Flow.
The good news is that from Evan Blass’ latest photo, we can tell that the HTC Vive Flow announcement is closer than you might think.