HTC’s Vive division has great VR headsets in several price points – the premium Vive Pro 2, the mid-range Vive Cosmos Elite, and the affordable Vive Flow. So far, however, none of the models is suitable for augmented reality. However, the company has a plan to attack Meta and its Quest Pro. The plan calls for a new headset with VR and AR capabilities, which will be unveiled at CES on January 5th. HTC’s Global Head of Product Shen Ye revealed some details about the headset in an interview with The Verge.
The HTC AR/VR headset will have front and side cameras and support for controllers and hand tracking. The cameras will offer color passthrough, making mixed reality applications possible. The headset has a battery life of 2 hours. The design focus was to make it small, light and comfortable. According to Ye, possible use cases include not only games, entertainment and sports, but also enterprise tools and business apps.
Competing against the $1,500 Quest Pro, the new HTC headset will be small and light, but not cheap. The company says its headset is getting better than Meta’s. Among other things, they refer to a higher dynamic range of the cameras, with which the user can read text from a notebook or a smartphone, for example.
It is not yet clear whether there will also be inward-facing cameras for eye tracking. However, it seems to be a question of time whether such cameras will be installed directly or will only be available later as an add-on. HTC also takes a careful approach to privacy, which is a growing concern with these headsets. And thus can become an advantage over what Meta offers.