An HTC Vive phone has been spotted in a promotional video ahead of a scheduled press conference for the company on January 12th. But what should we expect from a Vive branded phone?
In another in a series of revealing tweets from Internet tipster Evan Blass over the CES period, a previously leaked promotional video seems to feature a Vive branded model of mobile phone.
UPDATE: 1/8/2017 @21:47 GMT: According to Android Authority this was a concept-only video produced by by a then employee of HTC a number of months ago. They’ve got a good breakdown of the video’s sources over at the site.
UPDATE 1/8/2017 @21:39 GMT: Looks like the original Vimeo source for the posted video has been removed. You can find a mirror on YouTube here.
HTC 2017? pic.twitter.com/ppONWlT5Mr
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) January 8, 2017
Ever since HTC entered the VR arena at the Mobile World Conference in February of 2015, announcing its partnership with Valve on the Vive VR headset, we’ve been wondering if the company which made it’s name as a smartphone manufacturer would find a way to tie these two seemingly disparate ends of its business together. Speaking to Tech Radar back in February 2016, Drew Bamford of HTC Creative Labs said “it would make sense” for HTC to “work on more kinds of VR products, and products that unite our phone business and our VR business”
To that end, earlier this year, rumours were circulating that perhaps HTC, much like its competitor Samsung did with Oculus for the Gear VR, would enter the mobile VR race. This video may indicate HTC is ready to make that move, using its now established Vive brand.
As for the phone itself, it appears to comprise a metallic body the colour of which seems to match the Vive logo’s signature pale blue and sports the HTC Vive brand name and logo printed in the rear. The rear demonstrates markings around the rear, similar to visible antenna seen on recent iPhone models and others. Other than the camera, which looks to be a fairly standard sensor plus flash array, there are no other hardware clues as to what exactly what may or may not be special about it.
Will HTC announce a mobile VR headset at its January 12th press conference? Will the phone be SteamVR / Lighthouse trackable so you’re never without it, in or out of VR? Will it end up being some poorly conceived attempt at geek-focused lifestyle branding? Or might it just be a Google Daydream certified and compatible device? Who knows, but with any luck we’ll find out more on the 12th.