The HTC Vive has been one of the most well-known and well-regarded VR headsets on the market for years at this point. Currently, there are a number of different VR devices that HTC has for sale, but one product that it doesn’t offer at this moment is the “Vive Air”. While this might not seem like a big deal on its own, what’s strange is that an item with that exact name appeared earlier today in the most peculiar way.
Earlier today, an awards page was found for the Vive Air, which is supposed to be a sleeker, lighter version of HTC’s popular headset. The product was the recipient of the IF Design Award and was said to be specifically created with fitness in mind. “Vive Air VR headset is specially designed for virtual fitness, optimized for high intensity with long use,” said the headset’s description on the award page. “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.”
What makes this award so bizarre is that the Vive Air isn’t a product that even exists. At this point in time, HTC hasn’t announced the Vive Air formally, despite the IF Design Award page saying that it’s something that will release in 2021. In a follow-up statement that was given by an HTC representative to Upload VR, it was confirmed that the Vive Air is nothing more than a concept at this point in time.
“It’s exciting to see our concept piece, the Vive Air VR headset, win an iF Design Award,” the statement said. “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.”
Even though this specific model of the Vive Air might not be something that actually exists, or ever will for that matter, the fact that HTV is even putting concepts together like this says a lot. Clearly, the company seems to be interested in creating a more lightweight model of the Vive headset at some point in the future. And even more specifically, the notion that it’s doing this with fitness in mind above all else is great news for consumers that are looking to utilize VR to work out.
For quite some time now, the Oculus Quest has been perhaps the most go-to VR headset on the market if you’re looking to get into the virtual fitness scene. With the release of the Oculus Quest 2 last year, which came in at an even cheaper price point, this has been even more true. If HTC is able to release a new iteration of the Vive in the future that can more aptly go toe-to-toe with the Oculus Quest, then that would be a wonderful thing. After all, more options are never a bad thing.
As HTC said in its statement, perhaps we’ll end up seeing a new headset announced by the company in just a few short weeks at VIVECON. The event will take place across May 11 and 12th and is available to watch online if you’re interested.