HTC Vive Flow Leaks, and It’s the Weirdest VR Headset Yet

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Even in the event you put apart its decidedly bug-eyed look, the leaked HTC Vive Stream is a baffling headset. By all accounts, it’s alleged to be a standalone shopper VR system that’s made for actions like meditating and streaming media. It additionally will allegedly include its personal tackle the metaverse. In a considerably distant function, this kind of system may be the norm. Proper now, it sounds an terrible lot prefer it doesn’t know what precisely it’s alleged to be.

These first particulars about this system emerged from a Protocol report earlier this week. Then prolific leaker Evan Blass tweeted a sequence of photographs that exposed what the HTC Vive Stream seems like, its $499 price ticket, and that it could ship beginning in November. The Stream, whereas standalone, additionally seems in a few of these images to be tethered to some kind of cylindrical system. In others, it seems to rely on your smartphone as a Bluetooth controller and for phone-to-VR streaming. That jives with the Protocol report, which says the headset is not going to ship with any controllers and can sport a chipset that’s much less {powerful} than the one within the Oculus Quest 2.

So, in different phrases, gaming and some other processor-intensive actions aren’t gonna be presumably. OK. Effectively, supposedly this factor has a metaverse referred to as Viveport Verse. Protocol claims that this metaverse will embody avatars and cross-device performance whereas additionally exploring a “number of occasions.” The Viveport Verse apparently contains an NFT showroom? Someway this factor can even help user-generated content material. All on a not-very-powerful sounding chipset, and with content material that’s been repurposed from Mozilla’s Hubs VR project.

This can be a lot. In actual fact, it feels like all of the latest buzzwords within the wearables and mixed-reality house bought smooshed collectively, run via a blender, after which dusted with a sprinkling of NFT. On their very own, every of the Stream’s particular person parts may make sense. It’s removed from being the one firm exploring some form of wearable house theater. Fb has clearly cornered the standalone gaming VR house with Oculus and has guess large on VR health. (It’s additionally cursed us with the idea of a “metaverse” to start with.) Wearables and well being tech corporations have spent this previous 12 months specializing in options that emphasize wellness, mindfulness, and restoration. However collectively, these options and {hardware} don’t appear to suit collectively. What does an NFT showroom should do with, as one leaked picture implies, “well-being and conscious productiveness?” What’s an individual alleged to do with simply “7 free VR contents”?

Studying all this, I’m baffled as to who this headset is for. Who’s the prosperous, wellness-minded, early adopter who would plunk down $499 for a VR ecosystem that hasn’t confirmed its mettle simply but? Who in addition to tech reviewers can be thinking about a “informal” VR system that prices $200 greater than the well-established competitors? It could be one factor if HTC have been positioning this as an inexpensive, light-weight headset that did a few issues properly. Perhaps if this was maybe, an enterprise-minded system that centered solely on the metaverse side. Or an off-the-cuff gaming system that launched with an honest catalog of titles and a meditation app. However because it stands…we’re perplexed.

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