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HTC VIVE Speaks on Apple Vision Pro, AI at MWC 2024


This week at Mobile World Congress (CES) 2024 in Spain, HTC VIVE is showing face with a strong presence as a leading enterprise XR solutions provider reacting to industry trends to create its products.

Shen Ye, Global Head of Product at HTC VIVE, talked to CNBC about major XR industry drivers, as the firm also unveiled new details regarding its XR XR Elite Bussiness Edition product at the same event.

Notably, a big market shifting factor is Apple’s entry, Shen noted:

I think having Apple come in has really validated everything that we’ve invested in, in our hardware, our platform, our infrastructure, and we’ve seen a lot more interest in this space and even this show (MDC 2024). We’ve had a tonne of people come through and do demos, and it’s been really rewarding to see people actually getting into the VR space because of someone as big as Apple getting into the game.

A defining factor of the Vision Pro is its controller-less design, instead leveraging tracking technology to record inputs. While HTC VIVE also offers user tracking for its XR headsets. The firm also believes controllers hold a place; “we believe that controllers give you a certain immersion,” Shen remarked.

Shen explained that HTC VIVE is experienced in distributing tracking solutions; HTC VIVE has had “hand tracking for the past four years now.”

Moreover, Shen said that despite the innovation of hand tracking, controllers may not become outdated, as they provide greater accuracy for specific use cases. Shen said that tracking is something HTC VIVE is invested in. However, the firm still thinks “there is a space” for controllers – “Sometimes, people still use styluses instead of just a touchscreen because it brings accuracy and intuitiveness,” Shen added.

Shen also explained:

We are actually very happy with a lot of the demand that we’ve seen, and as we especially build out the ecosystem, we’re not just headsets but also tracking for your face, your eyes, your full body, and we’re seeing people dancing in VR as well. The space is massively growing both consumer and business, and that’s what we’re showing here [at MWC 2024]. 

Emerging XR Development Hurdles and Considerations

HTC VIVE is working hard on leading XR headsets; moreover, the firm is working to distribute its headset portfolio across end-users in various sectors. To achieve this industry success, HTC VIVE is working ahead of the pack to integrate new technologies as soon as possible, leading the next stage of mobile computing.

Shen added:

HTC has always been in a computing space. For us, our vision of VIVERSE/spatial computing. This is where we see the future, and this is where we’ve invested a tonne of our resources, and a lot of previous smartphone teams also moved over to Google. So, they’re now build the Pixel phones; so for us, a lot of our focus is on our diverse ecosystem and building out next-generation computing. 

Another technical consideration is the growing AI space, and HTC VIVE has worked with AI “since VIVE evolved,” Shen added. Moreover, Shen explained that AI mixed with extended reality can improve business operations and situations, such as enhancing remote collaboration and creating tools like live translations. Shen notes that HTC VIVE is expanding its AI suite “every week.”

Shen also noted

Latency is always an issue, especially for something like VR mixed reality, where if there is latency, you might get motion sick. So, we’ve invested in this space for a long time as well with, for example, our private 5G solutions. That’s both software in the infrastructure and also the hardware; for AI, it’s going to be really important as well. We want a response very, very quickly. All of this is going to be really important for AI and mixed reality. 

XR Elite Bussiness Edition product

HTC VIVE has introduced new enterprise immersive services for its XR Elite Business Edition product. The new features include a revamped VIVERSE platform for productivity and remote collaboration use cases. It also includes new AI assistant features and location-based software suite support to provide multi-user location-based experiences.

The new AI features introduce an AI Personal Assistant to assist with everyday productivity tasks. This includes updating a calendar, voice-to-text translation, and real-time translation in eight languages. The AI features also enhance the performance of avatars on the service, with AI improving user avatar movements. HTC VIVE also supports VIVE Ultimate Tracking products for VIVERSE users, allowing for more precise avatar movements.

In addition to these features, HTC VIVE is launching a VIVERSE starter pack to help organizations get started with its enterprise-ready collaboration platform, with a VIVE Business+ system that optimizes fleet hardware and software deployment.

Combined, these features can boost operations across longer multi-user sessions. HTC VIVE has also confirmed that new hardware accessories, such as a face gasket, over-the-top head strap, and security clips, will support “more versatile use cases.”

The HTC VIVE XR Elite Business Edition has upgraded specifications from its original iteration, offering a compact form factor with upgraded functionality for $1,299.

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