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Vive Flow Reveal. Pictures Leaked

kojack
Volunteer Moderator
Volunteer Moderator

Edited to include the real details.

 

October 14 was the event for the new Vive Flow.

It's... interesting. It's a VR headset that has folding side arms so it fits in a little cylinder carry case.

Some specs

- XR1 SOC with 4GB ram (Quest 2 uses the XR2 with 6GB)

- Estimated 1600x1600 per eye with 100 degree FOV and 75Hz (they only say 3.2K display, not the exact eye res)

- No controllers, but you can use a phone (Android only) as a Go style 3DOF controller

- 189g (Quest 2 is 532g)

- Hand tracking will be supported, but not at release

- Miracast streaming phone to Flow, to watch content or play Android games

- $499

- Battery life is only a few minutes. It's designed to run on a USB battery pack, which isn't provided. The internal battery is just enough to keep the Flow running while you swap battery packs.

- Preorders open now with a release in November

 

As I guessed, the cable down the back in the pics is for running the required battery pack.

 

It appears this is really intended as a portable media player, basically a giant sunglasses version of a Go.

 

 

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Author: Oculus Monitor,  Auto Oculus Touch,  Forum Dark Mode, Phantom Touch Remover,  X-Plane Fixer
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69 REPLIES 69


@kevinw729 wrote:

@DaftnDirect wrote:

 

.......Between Oculus and Valve, the gaming headset market is pretty much impossible to compete in for a third company right now. I like to see these new designs that appear to tap into other areas of use much better.



I think you may have made a common mistake. Omitting the impact of the HTC VIVE platform in this market.

Many make the mistake of depending too heavily on the Steam survey data to define the scope of the market. The VIVE and VIVE PRO (and now PRO 2) in the market is significant. While many do not appear in the survey for various reasons (the spat between Valve and HTC adding to this). 

With a speculated 10m+ units across the range in both Enterprise and Consumer it is seen by many as the most prolific headset - and since being first to market in 2016, and still being on sale - is a impressive testament to a platform that many at the time said was "too expensive", "the company would never survive", or "was not good VR".


HP has made a significant impact at least in flight and racing sim markets with their Reverb and Reverb G2. Certainly seems they are the only WMR headset that has gotten this kind of traction in the sim market.

Rift CV1| Rift S| Quest| Reverb G2| Index| Vive Pro 2

Good points about Steam. 
We have had to suffer with this as the only metrics most VR media will use - mainly as its spoon fed to them, and secondly as they do not have to go into any detail. You question Steam Survey, and you are automatically placed on the Valve media-ban step, so its easier to just use it and move on. The day a new means to calculate penetration of headsets in the market are conceived, watch how quickly the Steam survey will be dropped. 

HP has made an impact.
Oh yes, totally agree - as with the Varjo and VRgineer - more in commercial than consumer, but the Reverb has had some important impact in the consumer "simmer" scene, (never did get those forums from you by the way?)

https://vrawards.aixr.org/ "The Out-of-Home Immersive Entertainment Frontier: Expanding Interactive Boundaries in Leisure Facilities" https://www.amazon.co.uk/Out-Home-Immersive-Entertainment-Frontier/dp/1472426959


@kevinw729 wrote:

Good points about Steam. 
We have had to suffer with this as the only metrics most VR media will use - mainly as its spoon fed to them, and secondly as they do not have to go into any detail. You question Steam Survey, and you are automatically placed on the Valve media-ban step, so its easier to just use it and move on. The day a new means to calculate penetration of headsets in the market are conceived, watch how quickly the Steam survey will be dropped. 

HP has made an impact.
Oh yes, totally agree - as with the Varjo and VRgineer - more in commercial than consumer, but the Reverb has had some important impact in the consumer "simmer" scene, (never did get those forums from you by the way?)


There is a lot of anticipation building for Varjo's upcoming announcement, many are hoping for a consumer VR headset from those guys.

Rift CV1| Rift S| Quest| Reverb G2| Index| Vive Pro 2


@kevinw729 wrote:

Many make the mistake of depending too heavily on the Steam survey data to define the scope of the market. The VIVE and VIVE PRO (and now PRO 2) in the market is significant. While many do not appear in the survey for various reasons (the spat between Valve and HTC adding to this). 

With a speculated 10m+ units across the range in both Enterprise and Consumer it is seen by many as the most prolific headset 


 

Okay but where are the facts to support this? There is no evidence showing that HTC has sold 10m units in any market whatsoever. Nor are there any facts showing that they are the leading headset in Enterprise VR. I am all for speculation and assumption - it is part of the fun of the conversation - but to present it as a "matter of fact" we need some hard observable evidence.

 

As one example, one of the top Tech Companies that is pushing VR for the Enterprise forward is Accenture. They have won multiple awards in this category over the years.

 

But what is Accenture's headset of choice? Oculus. Just look at the news of their recent purchase:

 

Accenture acquires 60,000 Oculus Quest 2 headsets for training
https://vrworldtech.com/2021/10/15/accenture-acquires-60000-oculus-quest-2-headsets-for-training/

 

Personally, I do have quite a bit of insight in to which companies are using which headsets for Enterprise VR. It's the sector that I specialize in, and I have spoken with reps from both Microsoft and Accenture myself. As far as I can tell, it is the HoloLens and GO/Quest that have more adoption than any HTC HMD's. At least here in the United States.

 

The only place where Vive has high numbers is VR Arcades. But that isn't saying much consider how long that sector has been struggling, coupled with the low quality Arcade experiences being offered (compared to what consumer have available at home).


@DaftnDirect wrote:

I hadn't seen that example of a use case and you're right if they're including meetings then that's an overlap with Quest/Workrooms.

 

I think the problem is we're all having a guess at what it'll end up being good and bad at and HTC are probably guessing at what main camp of buyers will be interested.

 

Maybe I'm wrong in saying it's a media viewer. 

 

For me, this is an alternative to home cinema, and maybe a large TV that also has a camera attached for zoom meetings.

 

 

Edit: how about we just call it a non-gaming headset?


 

Well HTC is making all of us "wrong" thanks to their magical ability to release products with vague consumer/market targets lol

 

Here are my takeaways so far:

  • Oculus Quest is a good Media viewer, but it seems Flow will dominate this feature significantly better.
  • Facebook is targeting Enterprise VR with Meetings and Workrooms, but it seems Flow will be a direct competitor targeting ease-of-use (compared to Quest being a more bulky Enterprise VR solution).
  • Flow has no hand-controllers and relies heavily on a Smartphone, but it may be fine since it is targeting being at home or an office for sitting/relaxing positions.
  • Flow may have mini-games, but it is certainly not targeting any serious gaming achievements.

 

If we look at the Smart Tablet market, there is a wide range of products. There are extremely high-end tablets made for professionals on-the-go who can access Office Suites and Media Tools on-demand. And there are low-end tablets for basic note-taking, internet functions, and standard Mobile App usage. So we can purchase a Surface Pro 8 for nearly $2,000 or a Samsung S6 Lite for a mere $70. Both are very much Smart Tablets, yet their capabilities, and cost, are wildly different.

 

It appears that Flow is the low-end tablet in the VR Metaverse: You can do necessary things in VR, but not the high-end things.

 

And I do suspect that this may be a Metaverse thing, where the idea and expectation is to simply have a wide range of products with the labels VR, AR, and MR all over the place. While it is primarily Facebook that is more vocal about the creation of the VR Metaverse (and getting the most media attention), it is a fact that many organizations are on-board for the Metaverse. Including Microsoft, HP, and HTC. In fact, if we were to research all upcoming "Metaverse companies," there are over 60 organizations legally registered with the Metaverse tag.

 

I think we're all going to see a plethora of "VR" products over the next 2-3 years that will fail to meet the expectations we've established with the original Rift/Vive CV1s. The justification will simply be that they all provide some function in the new VR Metaverse.

 

 


@dburne wrote:


There is a lot of anticipation building for Varjo's upcoming announcement, many are hoping for a consumer VR headset from those guys.



Yes, I was blown away by the chance to use the XR Varjo system recently - the retina display was amazing linked to the pass-through. I think people who have not had a chance to use this with their own eyes will be skeptical how good quality SeriousVR can be. Another reason I was interested why FB felt they had to tease their prototype with the understanding that no consumer (other than super Prosumers) would have the high-end power to support such a thing.

Varjo have been teasing some interesting developments in the coming days - if they are as big as some are suggesting then maybe that would explain the unusual FB move?

https://vrawards.aixr.org/ "The Out-of-Home Immersive Entertainment Frontier: Expanding Interactive Boundaries in Leisure Facilities" https://www.amazon.co.uk/Out-Home-Immersive-Entertainment-Frontier/dp/1472426959


@kevinw729 wrote:

Varjo have been teasing some interesting developments in the coming days - if they are as big as some are suggesting then maybe that would explain the unusual FB move?

 

Facebook has always leaked/teased products. They did it with the original Quest when it was leaked as Santa Cruz:

Facebook Teases “Mixed Reality” Capabilities of Santa Cruz Headset
https://www.roadtovr.com/facebook-teases-mixed-reality-capabilities-santa-cruz-headset/

 

That leak/tease was from 2018.

 

The following year, Facebook teased their Half-Domes:

Facebook teases Oculus Half Dome 2 and 3 prototypes
https://venturebeat.com/2019/09/25/facebook-teases-oculus-half-dome-2-and-3-prototypes/

 

And this is consistent with their recent leaks:

 

 

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@kevinw729 wrote:
Yes, I was blown away by the chance to use the XR Varjo system recently - the retina display was amazing linked to the pass-through. I think people who have not had a chance to use this with their own eyes will be skeptical how good quality SeriousVR can be. Another reason I was interested why FB felt they had to tease their prototype with the understanding that no consumer (other than super Prosumers) would have the high-end power to support such a thing.

 

Okay but there's also the understanding that no consumer (other than a super Prosumer) would be able to afford, let alone power, any of Varjo's headset.

 

The Varjo VR-3 Heaset is $3,195 and the Varjo XR-3 is $5,495

 

Just a 10m Cable Pair is the cost of a Quest 2 or Flow!

Zenbane_2-1634492299224.png

 

 

Lastly, Varjo has never marketed any of their products as "SeriousVR." They have no history of ever using that term.

DaftnDirect
Volunteer Moderator
Volunteer Moderator

In answer to mistakenly omitting HTC as one of the companies that has already broken into the VR headset market.

 

I don't think their situation is quite the same. The Vive was a partnership with Valve with Valve doing much of the research and development according to wiki. Same deal with the G2, in that case it was a collaboration with Valve and Microsoft.

 

The difference comes when taking on sole development risk, which was my point about competing with Valve and Oculus, The Flow, as far as I'm aware is in this category.

 

Facebook and Valve (and Microsoft and Apple) can afford to fund, and if the hardware doesn't achieve more than 5% of the market, they can afford to develop something different.. many times over in fact.

 

HTC aren't quite in that same area which is why I think they're looking at different markets. In this case, high portability and comfort for non-gaming VR. A market that isn't currently being fought over by Facebook and Valve (unless included as a capability within a gaming headset design).

 

I'm not saying other companies can't enter the market but they would probably need to be niche, as in very high end, or bring something new to the table that the others don't have.

Intel 5820K OC@4Ghz, Titan X (Maxwell), 32GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4, ASRock X99 Taichi, Samsung 500Gb 960 Evo M.2, Corsair H100i v2 Cooler, Inateck KTU3FR-4P USB 3 card, Windows 10 Pro v21H1 (19043.1348)

Well said @DaftnDirect - and based on everything we have observed over the years, your ideas here seem completely consistent with how HTC and all VR competitors have progressed/contributed.

 

To your point, Facebook and Valve have been able to fund their VR projects from their own pockets, while HTC attempted to gain their funding from that 10-billion dollar venture capital alliance back in 2016:

https://techcrunch.com/2016/06/29/htc-vive-announces-10-billion-vr-venture-capital-alliance/

 

Obviously, this didn't work out too well for HTC. I think we all did a good job of breaking down the reason why, so no need to re-visit the whole thing. The biggest take-away is that HTC does seem to have learned their lesson and is now, as you said, looking to take the lead in different markets.

 

And to be fair to HTC, they are not the only ones learning from their mistakes. Valve has surely learned from its own after the ongoing hardware problems with Knuckles. And Facebook/Oculus has easily made an impressive amount of mistakes along the way.

 

Making mistakes with innovation is supposed to be fun and great! Mistakes are the best part of the scientific method. The progression of all engineering relies upon lessons learned from mistakes. So in the grand scheme of things, all these mistakes are highly valuable. I think it's only when the discussion turns to "picking sides" that mistakes tend to be used more as a Score Card in an otherwise fictitious scenario, na' mean? 😁

 

Personally, I am excited to see all the upcoming innovations and their inevitable pitfalls. Because when the next round of ground-breaking innovation finally hits the market, we will all have witnessed first-hand the mistakes that lead to the achievement.

Don't forget HTC also recently released the Vive Pro 2 with is one of the highest native resolution consumer VR products on the market currently.

 

Rift CV1| Rift S| Quest| Reverb G2| Index| Vive Pro 2