Image: Sadlyits Bradley/Marcus Kane
HTC has been hinting at a new VR headset for weeks. Youtuber Brad Lynch claims to have leaked the design and technology.
Lynch reached out to industry sources, particularly those in the supply chain, and got hold of photos of the VR headset. To protect the sources of the leak, Lynch had 3D designer Marcus Kane create renders of the device based on these photos. Lynch previously worked with Kane on his Quest Pro leaks.
Since the photos leaked to Lynch don’t show the helmet from all sides, Kane had to take design liberties in some areas.
A mix of Vive Flow and Vive Focus 3
HTC’s new headset doesn’t have a name yet. Lynch calls it the HTC Vive “Flowcus” because the device combines the design and slim form factor of the HTC Vive Flow with the technical performance of the HTC Vive Focus 3 (review).
The case is visually reminiscent of the Vive Flow and has pancake lentils like the latter, the helmet itself is rather thin.
Technically, however, the device is much more powerful: it works completely independently like the Vive Focus 3.
Vive Flow still needed a smartphone like Pocket PC. Additionally, the integrated SoC is “significantly faster” than the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 1, which runs in Meta Quest 2 and Vive Focus 3, among others, according to Lynch’s sources.
Lynch sources could not confirm exactly which chip it is. The most likely candidate is the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2, which would be unveiled tonight. It could offer up to three times more graphics performance than the last generation chip.
HTC Vive “Flowcus” is a full 6 degrees of freedom headset, Lynch said. Vive Focus 3 controllers are used as input devices. Vive Flow was also 6-DoF, but only offered a 3-DoF smartphone controller.
New Vive headset offers color shifting and diopter adjustment
Similar to the Pico 4, HTC’s new headset has four tracking cameras and a built-in RGB sensor. The HTC Vive “Flowcus” is supposed to offer color passthrough. The VR headset has two built-in LCD screens with a resolution of 1920 by 1920 pixels which operate at a maximum refresh rate of 120 hertz.
The HTC Vive “Flowcus” adopts perhaps the best feature of the HTC Vive Flow: a visual acuity adjustment directly on the lenses that allows you to set your diopter number, eliminating the need to wear headphones or lenses. of contact.
Unlike the HTC Vive Flow, the lens distance can also be adjusted via a physical slider. For total virtual reality immersion, you can attach a light shield to the case.
New HTC headset supports PC and USB-C connection
One of the coolest features of the HTC Vive “Flowcus” is its modular design: the rear part of the head mount, which also houses the battery, can be removed.
This allows the device to be used as particularly light glasses for on the go, which can be connected to an external drive (such as a smartphone or PC) via a USB-C cable (see cover photo). In this “glasses mode”, the temples can be folded down like real glasses. Sound comes from built-in stereo speakers.
Lynch further reports that the HTC Vive “Flowcus” has a USB-C port. This could be for eye and face tracking modules, similar to the Vive Focus 3, which would allow the headset to be upgraded with hardware features in the future.
According to Lynch’s sources, the device will launch in early 2023 and will have a consumer price tag.
Since HTC isn’t known for subsidizing hardware, the headset probably won’t be cheap anyway. According to Lynch insiders, the price will be below $1,000. HTC could unveil the device in January at CES 2023.