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HTC Project Proton is the VR headset of the future

HTC Project Proton
(Image credit: HTC via Engadget)

HTC is working on a forward-thinking, glasses-style VR headset to follow up the modular Vive Cosmos.

According to CEO Yves Maitre, the lightweight "Project Proton" system will feel "really, really close to normal glasses." Renders of the XR headset received by Engadget seemingly support Maitre's vision. Well, sort of.

Project Proton, while more compact than current VR headset offerings with its slim visor, doesn't exactly capture the vision of next-gen AR glasses. But its ostensibly lightweight design could make a case for HTC's efforts to bring mixed reality use cases to its hardware. Plus, both devices appear to sport front-facing cameras, which could be used for a passthrough view of the wearer's surroundings.

The Project Proton renders Engadget shared reveal two different versions of the headset. The first is a traditional all-in-one VR headset with a processing unit on the back of the head strap, which justifies the smaller visor and likely promotes better weight distribution.

The second Proton iteration looks more like obscured safety googles than a VR headset. Engadget says the model is designed to be powered by a smartphone or other external source.

We know almost nothing about the Project Proton aside from what it might look like. Despite still having several questions to answer, it seems like HTC's has a realistic outlook on what the next wave of headsets will hold. 

Kate Kozuch is an editor at Tom’s Guide covering smartwatches, TVs and everything smart-home related. Kate also appears on Fox News to talk tech trends runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following (she'll find you if you don't.) When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her on an exercise bike, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.