Leaked images of a sport-focused virtual reality headset from HTC have surfaced online. And the wireless headset aims to bring the fight to Facebook's Oculus Quest 2.
Details of the headset were first leaked by the World Design Guide Awards, which was later picked up by Engadget. The new headset, called Vive Air, will aim to bring fitness into the VR space while ensuring the headset doesn't get gummed up with sweat.
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The World Design Guide offers a glimpse into what we could expect from the Vive Air. First, it needs to handle the sweaty grind of a heavy workout. For this, the Vive Air will use “breathable and quick-drying fabrics,” hoping to provide that much-needed ventilation during the sweltering depths of VR cardio.
According to the website, the headset will feature a “quick-release design,” allowing the soft materials to unfasten and be bundled into the wash. This is exceedingly useful considering the woeful state post-workout gear often finds itself in.
The Vive Air takes cues from sports shoes too. Leaked images show several knitted headset components, each sporting a mesh-like fabric more commonly associated with endurance footwear.
And there doesn't appear to be any need to worry about the headset's weight during a long workout, as the "innovative lightweight structure" promises to keep it a feathery presence on your head.
The weight of a VR headset is an important part of users' overall comfort in wearing the devices for prolonged periods of time. It's something the Apple VR headset looks set to merit, with its upcoming entry into the VR arena rumored to weigh only 150g.
There’s no official word on the Vive Air's exact launch date, but there could be an unveiling of the headset at HTC’s upcoming ViveCon 2021 on May 11 and 12, according to The Verge (opens in new tab).
Only time will tell of HTC delivers something special. The HTC Vive has already demonstrated the company's talent for virtual reality — at the time delivering an unrivaled VR experience, and still sitting among our best VR headset picks.
A fitness-focused headset is a different sort of VR experience, tapping into a range of fitness-minded consumers who want quick-hit workouts from wherever they may be located. Mastering this market would be a huge win for HTC if it's able to pull it off.