A brand new and unreleased VR headset from HTC called the Vive Air has leaked out in pictures and a description. The headset features four outward facing cameras, which hints at the device containing inside-out tracking. It has mesh sides and a single halo strap design.
UPDATE: HTC has released a statement saying that the Vive Air headset is actually fake:
“‘It’s exciting to see our concept piece, the VIVE Air VR headset, win an iF Design Award,” the statement reads. “While this is only a concept, the design language has elements and inspirations you’ll see elsewhere in our products. We’re not ones to rest on our laurels, so although it’s great to win this award, we have business to attend to – hopefully we’ll see you on 11/12 May at VIVECON.”
We’ll find out for sure if this headset is fake or real on May 11th at Vivecon.
Information about the Vive Air leaked out because IF World Design Guide gave it a product design award. It included multiple pictures and this description of the headset:
VIVE Air VR headset is specially designed for virtual fitness, optimized for high intensity with long use. Inspired by sports shoes, the new headset introduces knitted materials to VR to provide unprecedented comfort and fit. The breathable and quick-drying fabrics improve ventilation in the heated exercise. The innovative lightweight structure allows users to forget the presence of the head-mounted display to focus on virtual content. The quick-release design allows the removal of ergonomic soft components for washing.– IF World Design Guide
The strap of the headset is unique compared to the Oculus Quest 1 or 2. It attaches to the headsets in three spots in the middle and top of the hardware. The halo band fits around the crown of your head and can be tightened.
Overall, the design looks a little over-simplified. However, depending on how lightweight the Vive Air headset is, could work well.
Another picture showcases the breathability of the design. There appear to be vents on the bottom of the headset which help to dissipate heat during workout.
It also appears that you can remove the core VR headset from the strap for washing purposes. A different picture shows the components separated. This would be a unique design not found in any other VR headset.
This picture also shows the size of the actual VR headset, which looks to be a much smaller profile than anything else on the market.
Finally, the last product photo shows a female working out with dumbbells in her hand while wearing the headset. There is no indication on whether the headset has arm tracking functionality or whether the dumbbells are possibly smart and integrated with the headset.
It makes sense that the Vive Air is wireless, since fitness requires a lot of movement. None of the photos show a cord in the way. We aren’t sure yet if it connects to a computer or if it has access to a wireless HTC VR store.
Overall, the HTC Vive Air seems likely to make its debut soon. HTC has previously announced that a Vivecon event would take place on May 11th and 12th.
They’ve been quiet about what exactly Vivecon is, but they have hinted that a new VR headset is coming. We aren’t sure if the Vive Air is the headset previewed or not. The unknown headset looks to be all black, while the Air has a white and neon green design.
Whatever this is, we will have full coverage of the HTC Vive Air when it officially makes its debut!