Chinese tech giant Huawei isn’t new to virtual reality, although it’s certainly not the first name you think of when it comes to VR headsets. Historically, the company has pitched its VR headsets more as smartphone accessories à la Samsung Gear VR. A patent registered with the Chinese intellectual property office (CNIPA) showing a very Oculus Touch-like motion controller may point to the company’s growing VR ambitions however.

Huawei is certainly feeling the pressure of reduced smartphone sales due to US sanctions and a ban on packaging its hardware with Google services. Could Huawei be focusing more on VR to boost revenue?

A CNIPA patent, numbered CN306513655S, was uncovered by Chinese language site ITHome (via Notebook Check). It shows an Oculus Touch-style motion controller with a characteristic ring embedded with LEDs for 6DOF optical tracking.

Granted, a patent doesn’t guarantee the company is actively developing a new VR headset, however if Huawei is looking to create its own 6DOF native VR headset, it would make sense to lay down multiple patents before it does so. We’ll be keeping our eye on Huawei in the coming months as live events like MWC 2021 inevitably pick back up in the wake of the prolonged pandemic.

Image courtesy CNIPA, ITHome

At the time of this writing Huawei offers one consumer VR headset, the smartphone-tethered Huawei VR Glass. For now, it’s only sold in a single flavor: a 3DOF headset and single controller, which ostensibly offers a similar experience to Oculus Go or Samsung Gear VR. You can also add in Nolo’s CV1 tracking basestation and controllers, although the same is true for nearly all 3DOF headsets.

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A new version of Huawei VR Glass was revealed last year, showing an attachable 6DOF optical tracking module and 6DOF motion controllers. Those devices however were created by the China-based creator Camsense, and not Huawei itself.

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  • mepy

    Expect a rush of standalone VR headsets from Chinese phone and tech manufacturers. Facebook is banned in China, but the market is huge.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Not really, otherwise we would have seen much more already when the Quest arrived. But we will see some extra headsets as they probably are all based on the Qualcomm reference model not the Quest 2.

      • Corellianrogue

        Facebook have a timed exclusivity deal with Qualcomm for the XR2. That’s the reason there haven’t been any competing XR2 VR systems until now. I think the Pico Neo 3 is the first.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          That’s the first I heard about Facebook having a timed exclusivity deal with Qualcomm for the XR2, do you have a source for that, as I can’t find anything about it using google (but that doesn’t mean anything, as with google you can have different results with the same keywords as I have, which is very annoying).

          • Corellianrogue

            I think it was mentioned on either F.Reality or MRTV’s Next Dimension Podcast a month or 2 ago. I forgot who mentioned it though. It might have been when Guy Godin was on the Next Dimension Podcast as I know he talked a lot about behind-the-scenes stuff. Or possibly the YUR Fit developer. (I forgot his his name.) Maybe when the HTC standalone was being talked about as he seemed to know something but couldn’t say anything other than that it was going to be expensive.

          • Andrew Jakobs

            So no real source of someone actually in the know.

          • dk

            it was the second guy I think …not sure how exclusive of a deal it was or more like fb bought all xr2 qualcomm could make for some period of time …but there should be more info on that if that is the case

          • Yeah, 1700 beans for tne enterprise AI2 …. lol

      • 【Elsewhere】

        There is already quite a few standalone Chinese VR devices if you’re not stuck looking into the Anglosphere. I think iQiyi, Huawei and several other smaller companies had been making standalone devices, all down to back then when the 855 was the top tier mobile processor. They’ll just upgrade their existing lines of standalone VR devices to the new XR2. Facebook most definitely still have a presence in China as Quest 2s are still selling pretty well in Taobao. The market is huge but there’s already players on the chessboard.

  • Alex

    Um, they have 6DOF VR models coming both for phone and PC. The phone variant has been out to testers since last year but I guess it’s NDAd. The controllers are indeed Oculus-like and have that notch that means they fit snugle on top of each other etc.
    https://twitter.com/fxgbridge/status/1379615068405518340

  • kuhpunkt

    There’s something like a Chinese intellectual property office? lol

  • Rupert Jung

    Why can you still patent something like this?

  • Anonymous

    More things on the list to ban for the US government!

    We must deprive commuist China of all IT components so it can’t be turned into a threat to the free world. VR can be easilt turned into training for the PLA

    • mepy

      What a choice for people, either be under potential surveillance by Chinese government or be under constant surveillance by the large data companies and open to bought manipulation.

      • Anonymous

        Lesser of two evils, unfortunately.
        The Commuist regime’s is at least confirmed to be mal-intended. They certainly aren’t collecting data for business gains, but to find targets to manipulate to further their agenda of world domination. That is just how ANY commuist or dictatorship nation must operate as they do not understand the need to trust.

        FB on the other hand, despite many dubious business decisions or intentional/careless mishandling of privacy, at least FB still must abide to US laws and will have to face consequences if more mishaps happen. FB is also just powered by petty greed for profit, not trying to create a new world order.

        And if any luck, let’s not forget FB may get broken up by FTC to lessen its social influence.

  • Pulstar44

    I’m really hoping one of these controllers works with Steam VR.

  • Martijn Valk

    Great,.another stubby, short handle, which makes these things really hard to hold on to when playing ‘faster’ games like Beat Saber..

  • sebrk

    Pass on Facebook. An even bigger pass on Huawei and CCP extensions.