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Former HTCboss has a new 5G VR headset, and more unusual tech news today

New VR headset from HTCCEO, with Snapdragon 845, 5G, all for $599. But will its promised virtual world be interesting?

Published onMay 26, 2020


Your tech news digest, by way of the DGiT Daily tech newsletter, for Tuesday, May 26.

1. A new social 5G VR headset

Former HTCCEO Peter Chou has a new project, and it’s in VR: XRSpace Move.

Officially announced today, there’s at least some reason to think this won’t be dead on arrival.

What is it?

  • The XRSpace Mova is a new headset, reportedly shipping in the third quarter of 2020 for $599.
  • Selling points include 5G support, hand tracking by default, and a virtual world dubbed ‘Manova’ – more on that below.
  • It’ll run a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, pack 6GB RAM, a bigger 4,600mAh battery, and a 2880×1440 resolution display, plus 90Hz refresh rate. It has 6DoF, too.
  • And, that display will be 702dpi, an insane pixel density, because of a smaller panel with more restricted view. Who knows, it might work.
  • It’s also said to be the “smallest, lightest” standalone VR, weighing 470 grams, quite a bit less than the Oculus Quest at 571g.
  • There’ll be accessories, too, but no details yet.
  • Some tech reporters have already worn the headset this year, but under NDA, with no details about the experience.


  • It’s all about the social experience, with Chou wanting to call this “XR” not strictly VR.
  • Manova seems to be focusing on virtual world social experiences. I hesitate to slap the ol’ it’s ‘Second Life-but-in-VR’ moniker on the whole thing but that’s the fastest way to understand what this is about.
  • Virtual worlds have already failed: Linden Lab’s High Fidelity didn’t really work, not something lost on the former HTCexec.
  • Manova is VR-first, not adapted from PC, and it is working closely with its Mova headset to use features like hand tracking to high-five or fist bump other avatars, which are higher-quality designs than we’ve seen before.
  • The reason I’m not super sceptical is that the current pandemic is leading to some people holding VR meetings. With travel problematic now and in a vaccine-less future, going from a 2D Zoom call to a VR meeting has been mentioned as being much richer and better for meetings (Mind you, I haven’t tried one).
  • Manova looks adaptable towards professional use too: one early partner involved is a real estate agency that wants to offer VR houses for tours this year.
  • So why won’t it work? Problems include that the $399 Oculus Quest is $399, and even at that price can’t attract a significant uptake. But the Quest is hard to buy right now, too, with limited availability at times.
  • XRSpace has signed up a range of partners, too, but the struggle will be for anyone to make VR truly exciting. Does 5G help significantly?
  • I mean, I do still want to play Beat Saber, but gaming has been the only real medium of success for now, outside of some niche healthcare and industrial AR uses.

2. Motorola Razr 2 specs leak: The (officially confirmed) second foldable Razr will have much better specs, 5G, but build quality and pricing is key here too (Android Authority).

3. Samsung Exynos 880 revealed: A cheaper Exynos 980 with 5G support (Android Authority).

4. HTC is still alive! Word is it could release a 5G flagship in summer: Here’s what we know (Android Authority).

5. NASA and SpaceX are ‘go’: Historic launch of Crew Dragon with astronauts on board: 4:33 pm ET tomorrow, Wednesday, May 27, from Kennedy Space Center in Florida (Gizmodo). Here’s more on the dress rehearsal for Launch Day ( As for the weather? The U.S. Air Force 45th Weather Squadron last predicted a 60% chance of unfavorable weather conditions for the Demo-2 mission, due to clouds, but things may be looking up: “It certainly has been trending better over the last day or two for launch weather.” Check the latest weather updates here ( And here’s where to watch SpaceX launch those NASA astronauts to the ISS (YouTube). I’ll mention all this tomorrow, too!

6. The plane/rocket hybrid small satellite launcher Virgin Orbit has failed to launch a rocket to space during first test flight. It was always going to be tricky with a liquid-fuelled rocket being launched from a horizontal position at a 50-mile attitude (Engadget).

7. PlayStation Plus users can get ‘Call of Duty: WWII’ for free today (Lifehacker).

8. grad student solved the epic Conway Knot Problem in a week: “He started yelling, ‘Why aren’t you more excited?’” (Wired).

9. ow to reverse-engineer a rainforest: Can scientists figure out how to replant the Amazon? (Engadget).

10. Ars’ summer reading guide: sci-fi newer releases, plenty of old classics, and a lot of alternate reality too (Ars Technica). I’ve barely read any of these, and right now I’m stuck trying to finish Don Quixote. A true masterpiece, but it’s a long, long read…

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