The Taiwanese electronics manufacturer HTC took the world by surprise with its virtual reality gadget (the Vive) and with a wearable device called the Grip. The two products were announced at this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona.
The Grip did not provoke great amounts of surprise taking into consideration that the HTC had been collaborating with Under Armour, a company that offers “smart wearables”.
The Vive headset, however, is something few were expecting. The gadget was developed in collaboration with Valve Corporation that also created the Steam platform, currently holding a community of more than 65 million players from all around the world.
According to reviews, the Vive seems to have better characteristics in comparison to Samsung’s Gear VR. Fairfax Media tested the Samsung product in February. Although, at first, the 3D image gave the user a complete 360 degree experience, when modifying the neck angle, the image stopped being realistic.
HTC found a solution – “full-room-scale 360-degree solution”- consisting of 70 sensors that let the user move around in real space and control objects in virtual reality, regardless of angle.
Another issue when interacting with virtual reality is motion sickness, a side-effect that HTC managed to control as The Vive functions with a 90Hz refresh rate. Jeff Gattis, HTC executive director of global marketing says this feature will prevent users from feeling sick.
The second announced product is called The Grip and is described as more of a wearable fitness device rather than a smart watch. It is compatible with iOS and Android devices, a feature that other models do not offer. It also has GPS capacities.
HTC chief executive, Peter Chou, explained that this device can offer personalized fitness recommendations from experts regarding training, how to avoid injuries during workouts and even nutrition:
“Since not every workout is the same, the Grip features multisport modes allowing you to track different types of activities, from walking to running to cycling or even a session in a gym”.
The Vive and the Grip will be available in certain U.S stores before the beginning of 2016. The prices for stores around the world haven’t been set yet.
Image Source: Phone Arena