HTC’s Vive Flow is a $499 lightweight VR headset built for entertainment and wellness


HTC is in the present day launching a lightweight headset designed to separate the distinction between a standalone VR headset and a personal cinema. The HTC Vive Flow is a pair of glasses weighing simply 189 grams (6.6 pounces) which pair with a smartphone to allow you to play some VR content material or just watch TV. It’s marketed as each a piece of tech to maintain you entertained and a gadget that can assist you enhance your psychological wellbeing.

Naturally, the company doesn’t wish to discuss an excessive amount of concerning the know-how inside Flow, preferring to give attention to what it might probably do. What we do know, nevertheless, is that it has two “1.6K” shows working at a 75Hz refresh rate and providing a 100-degree visual view. There’s no battery per-se, besides for a tiny cell designed to guarantee that it’ll shut down safely if Flow is severed from no matter energy supply you’ve got linked its USB-C cable to. 


It’s on this regard that it’s arrange extra like a personal cinema than it is your customary VR headset, particularly with the pretty slender physique. HTC spent a lot of time and effort shrinking the space between the show and your eyes, and Flow makes use of a pair of diopter lenses up entrance. It implies that short-sighted people gained’t have to put on their glasses when utilizing Flow, since they will set the lenses as much as swimsuit their consolation degree.

To make sure that Flow actually is moveable, HTC set a energy finances of seven.5 watts, the higher restrict for USB 3’s charging spec. It means you’ll be able to run this factor off any suitable battery pack (or your telephone, in a pinch) in addition to a customary socket over a USB-C cable. Some of that juice goes to powering a small lively fan in entrance of the nostril, which pulls chilly air over your face and pushes heat air out of the Flow’s prime vents.


HTC additionally spent loads of time speaking about how the dual-hinge system will make sure that the Flow’s glasses-like body will sit comfortably on anybody’s head. A pair of audio system embedded into the arms provide what we’re informed is surprisingly prime quality spatial audio, and beefy given their relative measurement. And since they sit in your head like common glasses, you’ll be able to put on them laying down ought to the necessity come up.

You can pair Flow together with your smartphone over Bluetooth or Miracast (for watching protected content material) and use the telephone as a pointer inside VR content material. That limits the variety of experiences you’ll be capable of take pleasure in with the gear, however you have been hardly going to have the ability to play Half Life: Alyx on this factor anyway. A pair of digital camera lenses going through ahead will, when the function is prepared, allow the Flow to trace your palms for extra immersive VR, too.

It’s price saying that this is not, and as I perceive it, can by no means turn into an AR headset in its present kind. Those lenses do not apparently provide a lot passthrough (past what’s mandatory for movement monitoring) and this is not designed for it anyway. 

HTC says that the main target of Flow’s content material on “wellbeing, brain training, productivity” and “light gaming,” with apps like Color Connect VR, Space Slurpies and VR meditation app Tripp. The headset will be capable of entry a particular model of Viveport Infinity, providing a huge library of Flow-compatible content material for a month-to-month price of $5.99. The company added that if customers wished to meditate inside the Flow in direction of the tip of the day, a blue mild filter will kick in to assist guarantee which you could get extra restful sleep.


If you’re trying to pay money for an HTC Vive Flow, then pre-orders are opening from in the present day, with transport anticipated to start in November. The worth is $499, and for that you simply get the glasses and a smooth carrying case thrown-in, however I’d strongly advise you to pre-order if you’d like one. Doing so entitles you to obtain the flask-like laborious carrying case, in addition to seven items of extra VR content material thrown in free of charge.

Naturally, Flow has turn into one thing of a worst-kept secret in know-how after many of those particulars have been leaked forward of time. One of the plain sticking factors is the upper worth in comparison with the Quest 2, though HTC was clear to dispel the notion that the merchandise have been equals. Flow, in any case, is a not a standalone headset, and HTC believes that the lighter, extra elegant {hardware} will win it followers within the well being and health market. 

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