Earlier today the internet discovered an awards listing for a new HTC Vive headset that hasn’t actually been announced – the HTC Vive Air.
Was this an early leak of a new device set to be announced at next month’s Vivecon event? Sadly not.
The HTC Vive Air Is Cool, But Not Real
In a statement given to UploadVR, HTC confirmed that Vive Air isn’t actually a real product.
“‘It’s exciting to see our concept piece, the VIVE Air VR headset, win an iF Design Award,” the statement reads. “While this is only a concept, the design language has elements and inspirations you’ll see elsewhere in our products. We’re not ones to rest on our laurels, so although it’s great to win this award, we have business to attend to – hopefully we’ll see you on 11/12 May at VIVECON.”
It may have just been a concept, but the HTC Vive Air definitely had an interesting premise. The listing outlines a headset designed specifically for VR fitness apps, using breathable fabrics that provide ventilation. It looks a lot like a sports shoe made into a VR headset, and features four cameras for inside-out tracking and a detachable faceplate so you could wash the frame itself.
But the concept doesn’t leave much room for the innards of a standalone VR headset (the listing doesn’t show any wires on the device but doesn’t actually specify it’s an all-in-one either) – there isn’t much space for them in the detachable faceplate.
Still, fitness is becoming an increasingly important part of the VR ecosystem; not only are gamers losing weight playing Beat Saber, but some companies like FitXR have even launched entire monthly subscription services to virtual gyms.
The timing is a little unfortunate on HTC’s part given that the company has started teasing what looks like a new VR headset reveal for the first ever Vivecon event on May 11th and 12th. We also know that the company is set to release a new standalone headset later this year, but that’s likely to be a successor to the Vive Focus and possibly still enterprise-focused.