HTC Is Making A VR Headset With A Key Spec Advantage Over Meta's Quest Pro
HTC is launching a new flagship AR/VR headset next month, which promises to reestablish its presence in the consumer VR space. The company plans on releasing the upcoming product's full details next month at CES 2023.
The AR/VR headset consumer space is about to become more competitive. HTC global head of product Shen Ye says that the company is looking to produce a small, light all-in-one headset that will come with full-featured virtual and augmented reality. The company will use the lessons it has learned with its HTC Vive Flow and Vive Focus 3 to compete with the Meta Quest Pro and Apple's yet-to-be-announced AR/VR headset. The headset was first teased back in October via a Tweet by the HTC Vive account.
One of the headset's main features will be outward-facing cameras that will pass a color video feed to the user's screen, which will allow for a mixed-reality experience. Ye indicated that HTC's ongoing relationships with developers will provide the best use cases for this feature after release. "We're at this phase where the tech is solid and we'll start seeing some really cool experiences," Ye added.
While color passthrough was a selling point for the Meta Quest Pro headset, Ye says there will be a couple of potential differences with the upcoming HTC headset. For one, the HTC headset will have a depth sensor, a feature Meta decided to do away with. The sensor could allow for more efficient tracking and a higher level of mapping of users' physical environments. Ye also indicated that the HTC headset could also have a better dynamic range than other color passthrough mixed reality options on the market.
Ye stated, "We've made our new headset one of the lightest that's on the market," being lighter and less bulky than the Vive Focus 3. He added, "We spent so much time doing ergonomics. The Flow was the first time we that glasses form factor. And we learned a lot, actually, from it. I can say that when we see things that can be improved, we will always improve it."
In terms of pricing, Ye implied that it will seem expensive compared to the $399 Meta Quest 2. "We're in an era when consumer VR headsets have been massively subsidized by companies that are trying to vacuum up and take personal data to provide to advertisers. We don't believe the way that we want to approach it is to compromise on privacy," Ye explained.
"We know how to build the best tech and now we also know how to build super-small form factor devices. It's those learnings that allow us to feel like we're now ready to make something that's really exciting," Ye exclaimed. Be sure to stay tuned to HotHardware's upcoming coverage of CES 2023 for more on HTC's upcoming AR/VR headset, and a lot more.