HTC Announces Vive Flow Business Edition, Optional 3DOF Controller – Road to VR

Vive Flow, HTC’s compact VR headset, is targeted at travelers and consumers looking for relaxed VR experiences and media consumption. Now the company has announced that it is marketing a Business Edition of Vive Flow along with an optional controller, which should make navigation in the headset a bit easier for first-time users.

Vive Flow Business Edition is launched as a lightweight unit for VR training, distance learning that brings immersive experiences into the classroom, location-based entertainment and health care and rehabilitation. The headset, which sells for $ 499 (€ 550) on the company’s website, includes a two-year company warranty as well as standard company support.

HTC says new software features include a ‘kiosk mode’ so content can be queued and triggered remotely, which is ideal for trade shows or running training sessions, the company says.

Vive Flow Controller | Image lent by HTC

Launched to consumers last year, the Vive Flow is a standalone VR headset connected to an Android smartphone for input via Bluetooth and physically connected to an external battery for power. Ok, so not completely standalone, but the lightweight device has built-in processing. Admittedly, the specifications for Android-only devices may change here soon, as HTC says it is also working on iPhone support for Vive Flow.

By default, the Vive Flow uses the smartphone as its only input device. Now the company is introducing an optional 3DOF controller for Vive Flow (seen above) that can be paired with either the consumer or business version of the headset.

While we were hoping to hear more about hand tracking or controllers (with an emphasis on the majority), it makes a lot of sense to go back to the old reliable controller style we saw as early as 2016: blindly clicking on a smartphone , when immersed in VR, is not the most intuitive way for newcomers.

You can see the full specifications of the Vive Flow here, including resolution, field of view, processor and all the ergonomic bits that help it achieve its weight of 189 grams, making it several times lighter than any larger VR headset on the market in day.

William

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