HTC Announces the Vive Flow Headset
HTC has officially announced its Vive Flow headset following two weeks of teases.
The HTC Vive Flow headset builds on HTC’s ultra-slim concept of VR headset, Project Proton. The headset looks like a pair of glasses that have very thick lenses and it weighs only 189 grams. The frame of the headset has two hinges, one of which is used for shifting the device to fit a range of range head sizes while the other allows the VR headset to be folded like you would a normal pair of glasses.
Technically, the HTC Vive Flow is not a standalone virtual reality headset as it must be tethered to an external power source such as a battery for extended uses. The Vive Flow features a small onboard battery but HTC has emphasized that this is only for powering it so that a user has the time to plug the device back to another source. The device also has two cameras on the front part with six degrees of freedom (6DoF) positional tracking.
HTC is envisioning the Vive Flow headset as a headset for media consumption and experiential content and less as a gaming device. As a result, a user can connect the device to an Android smartphone for use as a 3DoF controller and also to mirror content for viewing inside virtual reality. There are native apps, too, and HTC highlighted meditative experiences such as TRIPP and Nature Treks VR. HTC is also planning hand-tracking support for the device in the future but this will not be available at launch. It does not have iPhone support, however.
The Vive Flow has a 1.6K per-eye resolution, a 75-Hz refresh rate as well as a 100-degree field of view. HTC did not reveal the processor the device is using although a performance like that of the Oculus Quest 2 is unexpected. The lenses have diopter dials that allows users to twist them in order to get the best visual clarity. The frames also have an inbuilt audio solution as well as dual microphones. The front part of the device features active cooling.
Pre-orders for the Vive Flow headset have already gone live today on the company’s official website and the device will go for $499. The headset will begin shipping in early November and users who pre-order will also get the protective carry case that HTC teased a few weeks back for free plus seven pieces of content. HTC didn’t reveal what this content will entail.