Taiwanese technology giant HTC has revealed a virtual reality handset at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) that they plan to release with leading PC video games publisher Valve. The HTC Vive, as it has been named, will be paired with tracking technology and wireless controllers, enabling wearers to explore computer-generated environments by walking around.
The beta version of the kit will be available for sale to developers in the coming weeks, while a public edition is expected to be released later in the year. The virtual reality headset will complete with Sony's Morpheus VR and Facebook's Oculus Rift headsets.
These headsets are a new entrant in the market and enable wearers to view computer-generated 3D environments giving them the sense that they represent in those environments.
HTC has released few details of the Vive, but more information is expected to be made public by Valve on Wednesday at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. The handset can display video at an impressive 90 frames per second, and has two 1200 x 1080 pixel screens that provide high-definition graphics. It also contains a slot for headphones.
The Vive One has been fitted with over 70 sensors, including a laser position sensor, accelerometer and a gyroscope. These allow wearers to explore virtual spaces and objects from various angles by moving around within 15 ft by 15 ft in real life. In order to do this, users will also have to purchase the Steam VR base station.
The HTC Vive shows a possible change in strategies for the Taiwan-based technology firm, which has till now only produced smartphones. At the MWC trade show, it also unveiled a GPS-enabled fitness tracker and a new flagship handset, the HTC One M9.
Speaking at the conference, HTC Chief Executive Peter Chou said: "It is rare that a company has an opportunity to forever transform the ways in which people interact with the world and communicate with each other." The new product's most likely use would be for gaming, but the company says that it could be used to meet friends in reality, shopping and visiting other parts of the world.