The Mobile World Congress (MWC 2015) is not just about smartphones. Huawei’s stunner of a smartwatch alongside its smartband were a refreshing bunch alongside all the smartphone chatter. Though it was HTC that really took the show by the balls, with the announcement of a Virtual Reality (VR) headset that managed to overshadow its latest flagship — the HTC One M9.
In partnership with the one and only Valve, HTC just announced its answer to the VR craze that’s quickly trying to shape the way we consume media — from games to movies and simulations.
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The VR headset is called Vive, and seems well up to the task of going head to head with the likes of Oculus Rift and Sony’s Projct Morpheus.
It features two screens per eye, each filled with 1200×1080 pixels. That’s a lot compared to Oculus Rift’s Developer’s Kit which has 960×1080 per eye. Vive also has the upper hand when it comes to refresh rate, boasting 90 frames per second. Oculus refreshes at 75.
The device is further kitted out with a gyroscope, accelerometer and a laser position sensor.
Oh, but the fun doesn’t stop there. Something that sounds a lot like the Virtuix Omni (or just the VR treadmill), HTC’s Vive can be use with a base station which will enable you to actually walk around in your computerised world. As the product site explains:
Couple the headset with a pair of Steam VR base stations to track your physical location (in spaces up to 15 feet by 15 feet) — get up and walk around inisde [sic] the virtual world!
Furthermore, you’ll be able to interact with objects in simulations using specialised controllers. The site explains:
Ergonomic VR game controllers in each hand allow you to use virtual objects and interact with the virtual world. The position of each controller is tracked in space, allowing developers to simulate a wide range of activities and interactions.
HTC and Valve have also announced other partners in the mix. These include Google, HBO, Lionsgate and a host of other game developers. Imagine what this could mean for Steam and gaming in general.
If Valve is ever to make a Half Life 3, it would most likely be made with the HTC Vive in mind.
HTC One M9
The 5-incher hosts a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 together with a 1080p display as well a fat 20MP camera. There’s also a 4MP UltraPixel up front for brilliant selfies.
Read more: HTC One review: throw out your iPhone
The One M9 also looks a lot like the HTC One which had a curved back and that metallic wash. It actually looks pretty much exactly like the original HTC One, but it now features a duo tone body.
The camera comes with some interesting features like the HTC Eye which allows you to create Split Captures, take Voice Selfies, apply Live Makeup and more. Really?
Anyway, coming back to the design, the M9 promises to be the most customisable phone out there, which means it’s loaded to the brim with different themes and colours.
There was also the small matter of the partnership with Under Armour. HTC Grip is the smartband for serious athletes, notes HTC. It plugs into Under Armour’s Record platform, and is compatible with Windows Phone, iOS and Android 4.2 and up.