HTC’s wireless Vive Air headset outed by a premature award

HTC’s subsequent big products-reveal occasion is looming in Might, but for at least 1 of its upcoming VR products, the shock has been spoiled—by an award, of all factors.

The IF Planet Design Guidebook Awards, held in Germany for a long time and bestowed upon numerous disciplines, released its most recent pool of winners previously this thirty day period. It’s unclear when HTC’s new “Vive Air” VR headset was uploaded to IF World’s awards list, but its visual appeal started earning the rounds on Monday just after photographs appeared on Discord chat feeds, and then the award itself was found by VR critics Cas and Chary.

As described on its award page:

VIVE Air VR headset is specially made for digital conditioning, optimized for superior depth with prolonged use. Influenced by sports footwear, the new headset introduces knitted materials to VR to provide unprecedented comfort and suit. The breathable and swift-drying fabrics enhance air flow in the heated training. The modern lightweight construction will allow buyers to overlook the presence of the head-mounted show to concentrate on virtual information. The swift-release design and style lets the removal of ergonomic smooth components for washing.

Even though the award series’ decades of procedure have founded a standing for masking real merchandise as opposed to vaporware, the Vive Air could extremely well go again into hiding for any variety of reasons—so really don’t seize your pre-order money just but. Nevertheless, this leak follows a modern HTC announcement of ViveCON 2021, scheduled for this May 11-12 as a livestreamed event, and a headset that appears to be like a real rival to Oculus’s common Quest hardware—standalone, no Computer, no wires, no “tracker” boxes—would guaranteed make a splash at a two-day event, specifically after 2019’s uneven Vive Cosmos.

HTC representatives did not right away respond to issues about the award’s legitimacy.

Benefits for any VR use scenario, genuinely

HTC has not too long ago declared other VR extras, but because an early-2020 announcement of different new headset concepts, the maker has long gone rather dark on the new-headset front. Contemplating the Vive Air award mentions a “2021” launch window, its inclusion in ViveCON 2021 appears to be probable, while HTC may pretty perfectly have supplemental headset bulletins future month. That could even include things like the Magic Leap-like HTC Proton, but due to that device’s mix of high ambition and paltry evidence of genuine-globe existence as a result much, I’m not getting my hopes up.

The award’s gray-and-neon-yellow photographs line up with the higher than exercise-to start with description, as this VR headset product unquestionably resembles a pair of cross-instruction sneakers. That aspiration also aligns with a big segment of the VR program ecosystem: physical fitness. In the previous two several years, the wi-fi Oculus Quest headset line has noticed a enormous uptick in “trainer” applications, which check with players to move their head and arms via a variety of rhythm-timed rings, orbs, and lines—effectively simulating conventional cardiovascular exercise routine routines.

And as described, a complete hardware revision designed for exercise could be a feather in HTC’s cap just after getting rid of so much profits floor to other VR competition. I might actually adore to see perks like detachable fabrics, increased breathability, and greater fat distribution for any VR use situation. What benefits health surely advantages several hours-very long dives into beefy online games like Populace One and Fifty percent-Daily life: Alyx. Ideally, ViveCON 2021 will not go away us hanging on very important Vive Air concerns like specs, wired-VR possibilities, and expense.

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