With middling smartphone sales and a loss of a major portion of its smartphone IP and engineering team to Google last year, HTC appears to be full steam ahead with VR headsets as of late. Now, a trademark filing has surfaced that throws the name ‘Vive Cosmos’ into the mix, possibly pointing to the company’s next VR headset.
As first reported by Venture Beat, Dutch tech publication MobielKopen has uncovered a trademark filed with European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) that stakes a claim on the name ‘Vive Cosmos’.
While description of the device is fairly short, it’s clear HTC has their sights on another VR headset with the Vive Cosmos naming scheme.
Here’s a truncated description, taken from the EUIPO filing:
Head mounted display for computer simulated reality; computer hardware; computer simulated reality software; computer simulated reality game software; handheld controllers for use in computer simulated reality environment; optical devices, namely, eye pieces for head mounted displays…
It’s impossible to infer anything else at this point without direct confirmation from HTC, or at very least an FCC filing to seal the deal—the latter typically being one of the final steps towards productization—but that never stopped us from throwing some healthy conjecture your way.
A leak from Valve earlier this month revealed that the company is creating a new high field of view (FOV) headset, with images showing it in what appears to be a late stage prototype, or possible early developer kit. Valve worked closely with HTC to bring the original HTC Vive to market in early 2016, and it’s not out of the realm of possibility that a potential Vive Cosmos could be the result of a similar partnership. The Cosmos naming scheme certainly makes you think of something large and spatial, two things that the supposed high FOV Valve headset has in spades.
On the flip side, Valve has also created hardware with the help of other manufacturers such as Flex Ltd. (previously Flextronics) and Foxconn to bring a number of devices to market under its own branding such as the Steam Controller, Steam Controller Wireless Receiver, and Steam Link—making the previous supposition a rash, albeit interesting stab at what’s next for VR’s second gen headsets.
With the HTC’s enterprise-focused 6DOF standalone Vive Focus headset hitting western shores earlier this month, and a new McLaren branded HTC Vive Pro now available to consumers as of last week, it’s at very least clear HTC is continuing its ongoing journey to put VR closer at the core of its business.
Where an HTC Vive Cosmos fits in the diverging spectrum of consumer, prosumer, enterprise-focused, standalone, or tethered PC headset, we just can’t say right now—but you can bet we’ll be keeping out eyes peeled.