htc vive flow
HTC
TL;DR
  • The HTC Vive Flow VR headset has now been officially revealed.
  • The device, with its bug-like twin goggles, is a standalone headset.
  • It’s currently set for a launch in November for the price of $499.

HTC is trying once again to get people excited about virtual reality. Today, after a number of previous leaks,  the company officially announced the HTC Vive Flow. This VR headset is designed to be an all-in-one device, meaning that it doesn’t need to be tethered physically to a PC or smartphone.

Read more: Best VR games for most headsets

The HTC Vive Flow has also been designed to be lightweight. It weighs just 189 grams, which hopefully means you can wear it for hours. The two lens displays each have a resolution of 1.6K-per-eye and a 75Hz refresh rate. It also has a 100-degree field of view.

Instead of including a controller, the headset connects via Bluetooth to an Android smartphone (sorry, no iOS support), which serves as a kind of virtual laser pointer. It will also need to connect to a separate battery pack, which should allow the headset to work for up to five hours on a single charge.

The HTC Vive Flow is being marketed as a VR headset that’s both easy to use and easy to transport. HTC wants users to not only consume media on the Vive Flow but also use it for help in meditating and sleep. About 100 apps will support the Vive Flow when it launches.

The Verge got some brief hands-on time with the HTC Vive Flow and reported mixed results. There is no strap system to keep it in place, and as a result, the reviewer’s headset kept sliding off. Also, working with a smartphone as a controller is reportedly awkward.

The HTC Vive Flow is scheduled to launch in November with a $499 price tag. There’s a separate $79 price for the battery pack. It remains to be seen if this will compete with the current leader in the VR hardware space, Oculus, which currently has control of 75% of the market.