What you need to know
- The HTC Vive Flow are lightweight smart glasses that wirelessly connect to Android phones to stream content and apps.
- The new hardware focuses on meditation, brain training, business collaboration, and watching TV shows or movies than running demanding games or apps.
- Coming this November for $499 with preorders beginning today.
HTC announced the new Vive Flow smart glasses at the company's Go with the Flow event on Thursday after teasing the hardware with pictures of its carrying case last month. The Vive Flow is not a standalone virtual reality headset like the Oculus Quest 2, but a pair of immersive glasses that connect wirelessly to a 5G Android smartphone and can stream apps, TV shows, and movies with the phone used as a controller.
The device contains screens that support a 100-degree field of view, 3.2K resolution, and 75 Hz refresh rate alongside full 3D spatial audio which can also connect to external Bluetooth speakers. The lightweight glasses weigh at just 189 grams, or almost half a pound, with magnetic connections to swap out face gaskets and an active cooling system that pulls warm air away from the person's face.
The Vive Flow looks to be the realized vision of HTC's Project Proton concept showcased last year. Flow is focusing more on health and everyday use than dedicated VR experiences since the physical Vive controllers cannot be used with it.
"With Vive Flow, HTC is taking technology in a new direction, focusing not on what we do, but on how we feel. Maintaining our wellness has come to the forefront in the last few years, with so many millions feeling stressed every day, so it has never been more important to take time out to calm our minds, and Vive Flow provides the perfect opportunity to escape our four walls and immerse ourselves in our ideal ambiance," said Cher Wang, Chairwoman and CEO of HTC in a press release.
"Meditation, gentle stretches, brain training, streaming our favorite shows or even meeting friends or coworkers in VR with Vive Sync can all be enhanced by a device light and compact enough to fit in our pocket," she continued. "Vive Flow represents the next evolution of technology, as we take a more holistic view of how we can make life better."
HTC is also adding another Viveport subscription plan following the Vive Flow launch that gives unlimited access to apps that cover "well-being, brain training, productivity, light gaming, and exclusive content like a Lo-Fi room designed to look and feel like a cozy café" for $5.99 per month.
The HTC Vive Flow will cost $499 and be available for sale through the official Vive website and retailers sometime this November. Preorders start today and come with an official Vive Flow carrying case and "a gift bundle of seven pieces of content."
Thomas Meyer fell in love with video games starting in the mid '90s with a NES, Super Mario Bros., Duck Hunt, and Jack Nicklaus' Greatest 18 Holes of Major Championship Golf. He hasn't stopped and is not planning to anytime soon. Freelance for Android Central and Windows Central.
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