Virtual reality isn’t as big as it used to be, but HTC continues to evolve its Vive line. Today the company announced the HTC Vive Flow, a tiny VR headset that doesn’t just use your Android phone as a controller, it requires it.
Priced at $ 499, the HTC Vive Flow is designed to be a VR headset that doesn’t require access to a full gaming PC. Instead, the 189g headphones have a super slim design with built-in speakers and even an active cooling solution that keeps hot air away from your eyes for extended sessions. The internal display uses two 1600 × 1600 panels, one for each eye, with customizable focus, a 100-degree field of view, and a 75Hz refresh rate. A key aspect of the device seems to be its size. physique, which is considerably smaller on your face than other VR headsets. It also folds down to a very small size.
Interestingly, the Vive Flow has an internal battery, but it’s only designed to keep the device running when swapping out external power sources. HTC designed the device to operate from a bank of external batteries. HTC’s own battery promises around 4-5 hours, but any USB-C battery around 10,000mAh should do the trick. HTC Vive Flow runs on a Qualcomm XR1 chip with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage and supports around 100 apps. Most of the apps presented by HTC focus on meditation, socialization, video streaming, and a few simple games.
Perhaps more interesting than the headset itself, however, instead of a physical controller, HTC requires users to attach the Flow to their smartphone to let it act as a controller. Using a motion control style popularized by the Wii Remote, your Android phone is used to point at user interface elements as well as “tapping” and scrolling.
The headset connects to your Android phone either via Bluetooth for simple controls or via “5G” (presumably a 5 GHz Wi-Fi connection) so that apps from your Android phone can be mirrored to the Flow. HTC doesn’t support iPhones for any of these functions, making Android the only way to use the headset, as the company hasn’t detailed other control methods either.
HTC Vive Flow goes on sale tomorrow for $ 499. Pre-orders are open now.
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