SHANGHAI, June 28, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — HTC Corporation (“HTC”), a pioneer in innovative, smart mobile and virtual/augmented reality (VR/AR) technologies, signed the “5G Device Forerunner Initiative” with China Mobile (CMCC) at the Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2018 (MWCS2018) to accelerate the proliferation of 5G infrastructure and devices in China. Additionally, China Mobile will partner with HTC in regard to sales and retail solutions for making VR more accessible nationwide. Moreover, a number of new enhancements enabling even tighter integration of smartphones with VR devices were demonstrated at the MWCS, which showcased HTC’s continued efforts in leading the convergence of the telecom and immersive media industries.
HTC was selected as a key partner for the “China Mobile 5G Device Forerunner Initiative” to collaboratively accelerate the development of next-generation 5G devices so as to boost mass VR adoption. The program aims to launch the first batch of pre-commercial 5G devices for a large-scale trial application showcase, encompassing applicable scenarios for 5G devices, product configuration, technical solutions, testing and verification, and product research and development. The joint effort will propel the development of newly enabled application models leading up to its 5G network’s broad commercialization in 2020. In the near term, HTC will also cooperate with CMCC to jointly boost the sales of HTC products. By collaborating with the major telecommunication carrier in China, HTC aims to both advance the development of 5G technologies into our daily lives, and also accelerate mass adoption of VR/AR.
GSMA also awarded Cher Wang, Chairwoman of HTC, with “Outstanding Contribution to the Asian Mobile Industry”, recognizing her perseverance in innovations in the high-tech industry. “It is a great honor to receive the AMO award from GSMA,” said Cher Wang, Chairwoman of HTC. “HTC will continue to strive for ground-breaking innovation as we’ve done in the 3G and 4G eras, and support the construction of a more scalable ecosystem for interaction between people and machines. With the coming advancements in next-generation mobile technologies, the proliferation of 5G networks will facilitate new classes of use cases for VR/AR not possible in the past, leading to more rapid mass adoption and more natural interaction models for immersive technologies thereby realizing the promise of Vive Reality.”
Interactive Feature Innovation Unveils an Intriguing Future Lifestyle
With its newly released VIVE FOCUS™ System Update 2.0, HTC demonstrated its advancements in converging its smartphone and VR/AR businesses by empowering the Vive Focus and smartphone with a series of integrated features. Users can soon stream phone content from hundreds of modern Android phones to the Vive Focus, bringing millions of existing mobile applications, games and video content from a hand-sized screen to a giant one in the VR headset. This new feature was demonstrated at the HTC booth at MWCS. Additionally, the capability of wirelessly streaming high-end PC VR content from VIVEPORT™ and Steam to the Vive Focus is enabled by a newly optimized version of the Riftcat VRidge tool. This tool will immediately allow the Vive Focus users to enjoy a library of hundreds of supported premium VR titles without any wires or any special accessories. Users can operate the PC VR applications interface either by using the standard Vive Focus controller, an Xbox controller and third-party controllers paired to the host PC. Updated VRidge will be released on Viveport M in the coming weeks. Even the major VR hit, Beat Saber is playable on the Vive Focus and was shown at HTC’s MWCS booth.
The HTC U12+ can now be used as another interface accessory for the Vive Focus, and users can also now enjoy VR content that requires two-hand involvement, enjoying the excitement of interconnected phone-VR games. Vive Focus users can today download the VR rhythm game “Flashing Beat” developed by Chesstar Studios and published by Vive Studios from the built-in Viveport app store, and get the “Flashing Beat Mobile Controller” on any Android phones to enjoy the interactive game. Users will be able to live out their dream of being a rock star by using their Android phones to play the chords and the Vive Focus controller as the pick. This also is the first globally released hybrid game that fully integrates a phone as an integral accessory in a standalone VR game.
Another future feature will be enabled on the Vive Focus is voice assistance, allowing users to operate the device in a more intuitive and convenient way. The Vive Focus, world’s first 6dof standalone VR device, was first shipped in China this January. HTC will be bringing this much sought-after product to the rest of the world in the near future. Around 100 native VR applications are currently available on Viveport for the Vive Focus and other Vive Wave partner devices, and the number is still increasing. Developers around the world who are interested in building content for the Vive Focus can already order the Development Kit here, where over 20 countries are supported for dev-kit direct shipment. Also, to thank the developers who have contributed to the success of Viveport in China during the year, developers can keep all the profits until September 30th of 2018. Interested VR developers can visit (developer.viveport.com) to learn more about Viveport’s developer community.
In cooperation with Warner Bros, Vive Studios produced the hit content, the Oasis Beta which allows users to fully delve into the imaginary world of Ready Player One. It is now the most downloaded app and highest engagement VR app on Viveport of the year. HTC is calling on developers from around the globe to join “The Oasis Expansion” program and submit their applications for future inclusion in the ever-expanding virtual world of the Oasis.
“With all the innovations we demonstrated around the tight integration of smartphones, PCs and VR/AR devices here at the MWCS, clearly availability of compelling content for VR devices is no longer an issue. We are getting yet another step closer to a future where our daily lives will be dramatically improved by immersive technologies,” said Alvin Wang Graylin, China President, HTC. “HTC has had a long history of innovation in the telecom and immersive computing industries. We launched the world’s first 3G and 4G phones, as well as the world’s first room scale VR device and 6dof standalone VR device. There is no other company more qualified to lead the charge to drive further integration of the two spaces and innovation in coming the 5G-enabled future.”
Other Highlights at the MWCS:
At VEC last month, HTC and McLaren announced a long–term partnership to bring new VR/AR experiences to the enormous 500 million plus F1 fan base. At the MWCS, HTC is already showcasing VR and AR content allowing Vive Focus and phones users to feel what it is like to be a McLaren F1 driver. The VR content will soon be available for downloading on Viveport with the AR content available on phone app stores.
Razer, the world’s leading lifestyle brand for gamers also showed its support for HTC by powering many live demos at the event with its newly launched Razer Blade 15, the world’s smallest 15.6″ gaming laptops with Vive devices at the MWCS, aiming to provide the best immersive VR experience for the public. HTC also showcased the NextVR optimized for Vive Focus at the event, a VR livestreaming platform that allows users to immerse themselves in livestream NBA League Pass games on a virtual movie theatre-sized screen.
Last but not least, the #FunWithFocus challenge is currently gaining momentum in the cyberspace. The challenge aims to motivate users to immerse themselves freely with the Vive Focus, to show their inspirations and free-spirit in applying VR to their lives. Users from around the world are encouraged to accept the challenge by posting their videos or photos of fun activities with Vive Focus using the hashtag #FunWithFocus. The most liked posters will have a chance to receive unique prizes and experiences.
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HTC Corporation aims to bring brilliance to life. As a global innovator in smart mobile and virtual reality devices and technology, HTC has produced award-winning products and industry firsts since its inception in 1997, including the critically acclaimed HTC U and Desire lines of smartphones, and is now leading the VR industry with the Vive line of products. The pursuit of brilliance is at the heart of everything we do, inspiring best-in-class design and game-changing mobile and virtual reality experiences for consumers around the world. HTC is listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE: 2498). www.htc.com
Vive, a subsidiary of HTC, is the creator of the unprecedented Vive PC-based virtual reality system, which was built and optimized for room-scale VR and true-to-life interactions. The Vive ecosystem has evolved around its premium VR product portfolio, supported by Vive X, the most active global VR/AR accelerator that has invested in over 80 start-ups, Viveport, a global content platform with the world’s first VR subscription model that operates in more than 45 countries, and Vive Studios, Vive’s VR content development and publishing initiative. Now with the Vive PC series including the Vive CE and the Vive Pro, as well as the Vive Focus standalone, Vive is delivering on the promise of VR with game-changing technology and best-in-class content, bringing VR to consumers, developers and enterprises alike. For more information on Vive, please visit www.vive.com.
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