HTC unveils mobile VR goggles, but there’s a catch

Virtual reality is far from over, says manufacturer HTC. After VR goggles for gamers and industry, there are now mobile goggles for leisure, the HTC Vive Flow.

The new HTC Vive Flow VR goggles are designed to make virtual reality more mobile and more suitable for leisure time. The glasses, which will be available from November for just under 550 euros, are particularly compact and lightweight – and also work wirelessly.

Intended primarily for relaxation

In contrast to the “big” HTC Vive, which is geared toward gamers and industrial applications, the 189-gram Vive Flow focuses on entertainment and wellness.

HTC Vive Flow: slim lifestyle VR glasses presented.
Virtual worlds on the go are also supposed to be available with HTC’s Vive Flow. Photo: dpa picture alliance

With a field of view of 100 degrees and speakers integrated into the temples, it is supposed to be more inviting for movie watching or meditation and wellness programs. Via HTC’s meeting platform Vive Sync, virtual conferences with other Vive and Flow wearers are also inside. Other content, such as entertainment programs or games, is available via the Viveport software platform.

Also interesting: What is the difference between VR, AR and MR?

An Android smartphone is required to operate the HTC Vive Flow.

Content for the two square LC displays in the glasses (1600 by 1600 pixels) comes wirelessly from a compatible Android smartphone. The device has to be capable of Miracast transmissions, as well as HDCP 2.2 for transferring copy-protected video content. This unfortunately rules out operation with an iPhone.

HTC Vive Flow: slim lifestyle VR glasses presented.
The HTC Vive Flow can be used without glasses by many users with vision impairments because of its built-in vision correction. Photo: dpa picture alliance

A small battery in the glasses allows wireless operation for a limited time. Power flows from the smartphone or a power bank via USB-C connector. Practical for comfortable use: The active cooling not only keeps the chips inside the glasses at the right temperature. It also conducts the warm air from the space between the face and the displays to the outside. For those who wear glasses, there is also a vision correction for use without glasses.