The virtual reality industry hasn’t really even kicked off yet, but consumer excitement for first generation products is already high. HTC has just announced that consumers will be able to pre-order its Vive headset in February 2016, with a release date scheduled for April.
While some consumers had been hoping to get their hands on the final product a little earlier, HTC states that it had decided to shift availability back a little to ensure the best possible end product. The company also wants to make sure that there’s immersive content and a leading distribution platform in place by the time the Vive lands in consumer hands.
HTC is already looking beyond the VR gaming market that is expected to drive early consumer adoption too. The company recently co-hosted a symposium with Professor Neil Martin, Chair of the Neurosurgery Department at UCLA, and is investigating the uses of virtual reality to help train medical students and to reduce dependency on and costs of using cadavers for dissection.
While we are edging closer to an exciting consumer level launch, HTC is also gearing up to unveil a next generation developer version of its VR headset. 7,000 additional developer kits will be distributed in early 2016 and the company will be showing off the new kit at its ‘Vive Unbound’ event in Beijing and at CES 2016 in Las Vegas.