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.
- 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
- 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.
Headlines will say;
”Vive you’ve dug a big hole with the Vive Flow”, lol!
Nice callout! And you are right, it's already starting...
The $499 HTC Vive Flow is VR for people who don’t like VR
Yep looks like will be a nice media viewer and possibly interactions with others.
Certainly not for gamers such as myself. For me in viewing media I still prefer my desktop as the image in VR is just not there yet for me.
It is a neat idea though and seems HTC is trying to create a market for the device and may be on to something - only the future will tell if they are correct. I was kind of surprised when Oculus cancelled Go in favor of going to one headset with the Quest, which is obviously designed mainly for gamers.
But I will say it again just wait - posts eventually will start showing up in the flight sim forums on how to get this to work with their sim lol.
Edit: Oh and imho a big mistake on HTC's part not supporting the iPhone.
Ok, so out of the box the Flow doesn't really do much. It's battery only lasts a few minutes, you must use a battery pack to run it (the internal battery is just for keeping it running while swapping battery packs) and HTC aren't providing a battery pack with it. So you need to buy one of those to actually use the thing.
No hand tracking at launch either. Apparently you can use head based tracking to control it, but does it have a button? Or is it "gaze at point for a second and it activates"? Sounds like a phone is required for any serious use (not just for setup like a Quest 2).
The light weight is cool though. 189g compared to 532g for a Quest 2. Actually just a single Quest 2 Touch controller is 150g, so that's a good indicator of what it would be like.
It has a power cord you can use with it I think.
I imagine they will be offering a battery pack soon.
You use the Android cell phone ( iPhone not supported) to navigate the menus by swiping up , down, left, and right. Not sure about "clicking".
mmm this is close to being a decent headset for people like me looking for a comfy media viewer. The 100 deg FOV is a surprise but I'd be more interested in the size of the sweet spot as I know from experience, sizing the screen in something like Skybox or Netflix has anything above maybe 60 or 70 deg as a bit too big to watch properly, like sitting in the very front row of the cinema. But the sweet spot is more important.
If it gets hand tracking that's great, phone pointing's not good. Presumably the specs would suggest a browser is on the cards too for streaming content providers, it would seem to be capable.
Really, that just leaves the price. Even people like me looking for a super comfy media viewer probably wouldn't be prioritising comfort enough to go for that.
The Panasonic one though, if that squeezed in under the £500 mark, that would be tempting, But then again, I'm thinking there are more compromises there to achieve the even smaller size. I'd be ok with a smaller FOV for media. But I'm guessing the Panasonic foregoes anything as fancy as hand tracking and less likely to be browser capable as a result.
Still early days for these things but I like the designs. A proper VR headset this size can't be too many years away. Or a media viewer headset like this at the sub £200 mark.
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Yep, sweet spot size is going to be important if there's no ipd adjustment (that I've seen). But the diopter adjustment at least means people with glasses should be fine.
My hesitancy is due to a deja vu feeling. My first VR headset was a vuzix wrap 1200vr, which was a sunglasses style headset with mobile phone viewing and an external battery pack, mainly intended for media viewing. It was so disappointing I almost skipped the oculus dk1.
Yesterday my coworker told a student that I knew a lot about VR. The student asked me "so you'd recommend a vive?".
Ha! - always a danger @kojack when someone knows you work in the medium 🙂
Agree with the comment about feeling we have been here before. This time I think Samsung, Panasonic and HTC are going to double down on the immersive viewer business, fueled a lot by the success of the VR cinema experience (as seen with Bigscreen). That this direction was dumped with the discontinuance of the Go was a business decision for one corporation - and not the closing of a door on a avenue of development, so we now see the Flow and GlassView appearing. Regarding the teased prototype shown in the Oculus tweet, would seem from comments on other forums this was a concept dropped some time ago, so its weird to wheel it out now, unless to try and rain on HTC.
fueled a lot by the success of the VR cinema experience (as seen with Bigscreen).
But there doesn't seem to be much success here, if we are defining success based on the concept of "sustainable ROI."
There is no huge stream of VR Cinema that is yielding mass consumer adoption. Literally the biggest drivers for VR Cinema are a single category on YouTube, and a handful of Adult Porn sites. And even those are in the extreme minority.
Regarding the teased prototype shown in the Oculus tweet, would seem from comments on other forums this was a concept dropped some time ago,
Smart Glasses and Goggles were never dropped by Oculus. They have been advancing in this direction year after year. Facebook's new glasses were announced for release several weeks ago, before HTC announced these.
So it it would that HTC is responding to Facebook's Smart Glasses with the Flow.