HTC looks to tap into growing VR market with new Vive Flow goggles

Global market for virtual reality was valued at $15.81bn in 2020 and is expected to grow at 18 per cent from 2021 to 2028

HTC's Vive Flow virtual reality goggles at the Dubai Internet City stand at Gitex Global. Antonie Robertson / The National
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HTC is displaying its newest virtual reality headset, the Vive Flow, at Gitex Global in Dubai as it seeks to make the technology more widely available to sectors that are fast adopting digital realities.

The Taiwanese electronics company – once a major player in the smartphone market – is focusing on both the consumer and enterprise segments with its VR products, especially in remote collaboration as more people and firms rely on virtual meetings that have risen in popularity during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We feel as [if] maintaining our wellness has come to the forefront in the last few years, with millions of people feeling stressed every day,” Cher Wang, chairwoman and chief executive of HTC, said in a statement.

The global market for VR – a digitally created experience simulated with thereal world – was valued at $15.81 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 18 per cent from 2021 to 2028, Grand View Research reported, creating a big opportunity for service providers as virtual experiences gain traction faster than expected.

Facebook, already a major player in the VR market, already has its Oculus range of VR headsets and will be investing $50m in its so-called metaverse, a digital space that allows users to communicate and move virtually.

Recently, the world's biggest social media network launched its Stories eyeglasses in collaboration with Ray-Ban, and last week, it teased new versions of its VR hardware.

Consequently, the employment market for the VR space is also growing. A recent salary guide for the UAE revealed that jobs related to VR are among the most sought after, with compensation packages for these roles ranging anywhere from Dh20,000 to Dh45,000 a month, depending on the level of project development and implementation experience.

A number of pavilions at Expo 2020 Dubai are also heavily banking on VR experiences to give visitors lifelike experiences.

Education, training, design, engineering, architecture and health care are among the sectors that can benefit greatly from VR technology, giving users more flexibility and saving them time while they still feel deeply involved in their endeavours, said Daniel Khayat, head of product and Viveport at HTC Middle East and Africa.

Everybody wants to work remotely, but they want to be immersed. We are seeing more traction in several use cases for VR
Daniel Khayat, head of product and Viveport at HTC Middle East and Africa

“Everybody wants to work remotely, but they want to be immersed. We are seeing more traction in several use cases for VR,” he told The National on Tuesday.

Mr Khayat added that HTC is working with a number of entities and organisations in the UAE to help integrate VR into their daily activities, including Dubai Police, Dubai Customs and a number of schools such as the Higher Colleges of Technologies, all of which are using HTC headsets.

HTC's Vive Flow has a 100-degree field of view that supports HD content and 3D spatial audio. Aside from its movies, gaming and other entertainment offerings, it also has content to promote well-being.

Updated: October 20, 2021, 8:34 AM