In 2017, HTC announced a major partnership with Google. In accordance with the cooperation agreement & mdash; & mdash; HTC employees participating in the original Google Pixel phone will join Google, HTC will use its non-exclusive intellectual property rights to Google. The HTC will get 1.1 billion US dollars to support the development of new technology sector.
This year is also HTC's 20-year-old birthday, everything is like a reincarnation and fate - this company was established in 1997, after several development, and giants Google opened a brilliant mobile era, and took a Dramatic drop parabola, will be the core of the full commitment to the mobile phone sector partners.
In early 2018, HTC's internal structure and personnel changes came out an important & mdash; will be five regional general manager in the Americas, Europe, Taiwan, North Asia, China and other regions separately in charge of smart phones and VIVE virtual reality business, mobile phones And VR business merger, in order to take a consistent approach to the product and strategy.
Wang Xuehong stressed that by a single regional general manager in charge of both businesses, is expected to launch a smart phone and VR products to take a consistent approach, but also the global business to become more strategic, more flexible and successful, contribute to the overall HTC Technology that grows and brings new generations to consumers.
Today, the HTC mid-range model at the 2014 Mobile Communications Exhibition in Barcelona was eager for the 8 Series, which should be the last time people looked at HTC as a "cell phone company."
In 2015, HTC and the gaming company Valve co-launched Vive head start, HTC this company planted a new footnote - VR.
After entering the field, HTC Vive through the era of mobile phone platform launched an era of replication, they hope to save the company's downward trend and seize the next future.
HTC MWC 2018
Perhaps not at a suitable point in time, since HTC U11 + was released in Taipei in November last year and HTC U11 EYEs in Beijing in January this year, HTC has nothing special to say about cell phones and Vive on MWC 2018.
However, MWC 2018 on the HTC Vive booth, and no difference with other years & mdash; & mdash; still pack a lot of venues, the booth is still full of popularity, where the experience of VR is surrounded by an unpredictable, HTC mobile phone door Former & hellip; & hellip;
HTC Vive placed nearly 10 experience areas in the booth, providing dozens of different content to the coming journalists, suppliers, new partners experience. Interestingly, most of the staff for these pavilions are partners from HTC Vive, content creators supported by HTC Vive, and not HTC's own staff.
Among these experiences, there is a project that has the longest queues and the highest freshness. This is & mdash; & mdash;
This is a hot air balloon experience program, the experience of those who need to walk into this entity's thermal earth device, in which the seat and the gas tank below it are props, the top of the switchgear is modified, through the top of the switch can control the hot air balloon Of the rise, or hot air balloon will drift in the air. During the experience, this hot air balloon device will be suspended, next to the configuration of a blower, from time to time staff will shake with the contents of what & hellip;
Some people who came to experience called it "mixed reality."
From the experience of the reaction point of view, we all applauded the experience of this project, we say that this device is very real, and even some of the experience that there will be a strong "fear of terror" response.
In a large sense, this "hot-air balloon game experience" represents VR shopping in all those shopping malls and is a luxurious configuration that emphasizes "experiential experience." Many projects To a large extent, in such a VR experience, VR head is a significant part of its most important touch experience is actually through other devices may be more expensive to achieve & hellip.
Outstanding products and downturn in the industry
In the eyes of many practitioners, HTC Vive is the best VR device.
HTC Vive in hardware the way to go the deepest, but also the most solid. The next-door PlayStation VR is content-driven, with relatively low headline hardware and tepid consumer markets, while the Oculus Rift takes a different approach to positioning, but the collaboration between HTC Vive and Valve is believed to be more accurate. And in the Chinese market, Oculus Rift as a foreign company, but also its disadvantages.
HTC Vive emphasizes the high-end product line, so far there are three products - Vive Focus VR market for mass consumer products, it is a one machine; Vive is for VR enthusiasts market, it is PC-driven Of the VR head; the third is the flagship product just debuted at CES, Vive Pro, product parameters higher, for the professional / professional level VR market.
In addition to taking the shots of the hardware, HTC Vive is still trying to get close to VR content business.
Since Vive X Accelerator was launched in April 2016, HTC Vive has invested in teams in more than 90 VR eco-chains to date in terms of technology, hardware, content and more.
When asked what else now will surprise you, Wang Congqing, general manager of HTC Vive China, said a long list of serious inputs.
Galaxy Puzzle Galaxy Puzzle is our own content, with a variety of gameplay mercenary itself is very good, but the one machine gives you the feeling that you are more free - hellip; & hellip;
Ikki art, Youku video content library is also very good, there is a 8K video player is also very good, with almost the content you want the content quality is not enough to use our high-parameter hardware, This ambiguity is not a device problem, but a data source problem.
Compared to several other products, HTC Vive content has been considered a lot, but also to ensure that the contents of all directions. According to a previously released data from HTC, the current application of Viveport in Viveport has exceeded 1100 models.
HTC Vive supports hardware sales by supporting more content, hoping for killer apps such as "Cut the Rope" in the era of touchscreens and then popularizing the consumer market.
However, despite the HTC Vive software and hardware products are regarded as excellent, but in stark contrast with the excellent products, the industry atmosphere of the downturn and the unknown mass market.
According to an analysis report on the internet, VR investment peaked in the fourth quarter of 2015 and then began to decline and ebb; in the first quarter of 2016, 18 VR startups in China got financing, but at the end of the year, From June to August, this figure has been reduced to 45. In the first quarter of 2017, the global VR / AR venture capital investment was only 200 million U.S. dollars (26 companies were invested) compared with 1 billion U.S. dollars in the same period of last year. (29 companies financing), plunged Bacheng.
For the general public, they really did not think their own VR video to be able to watch something, and must look after something. HTC Vive emphasizes the content and operation of IP, HTC Viveport has just announced the quality resources already talked about - the upcoming Hollywood movie "Player One", in order to improve the use of VR users.
Of course, in addition to the content, people are still complaining about the VR hardware is too expensive, which somewhat and HTC Vive's high-end strategy have a conflict.
But HTC Vive is still insisting on high-end, emphasizing the cheap VR helmet does not bring good results, HTC Vive that the moment, to get good results have to pay more money.
Perhaps we can understand the high side of HTC Vive strategy, since HTC Vive has All in VR, HTC is directed at the future of VR, then the technical route and high-end strategy had to go. Right now the consumer market, or let it go.
In January 2018 HTC Vive conference in Shenzhen, GFK data mentioned that in the overall trend of growth in the VR market, the more primitive mobile VR is facing the elimination of high-end head VR and VR one machine market share will be Gradually increase, the willingness of users to purchase more than one thousand yuan VR products are also growing. For HTC, it could be particularly good news.
At the same conference in Shenzhen, Wang Congqing referred to the media and developer partners present here: "In my understanding, there should be 5 billion users of truly universal products." True to his eyes Yes, VR must become a cellphone, a toothbrush-like thing - they need to be touched and used daily.
Whether it's a toothbrush or a cell phone, they all have a fixed usage scenario, and the core of this usage scenario is really content-what I can do with my phone and my toothbrush everyday.
However, VR content is still exploring how to shoot, how long, how long it takes to make people comfortable, whether it is to first-person or third-person; VR technology is still developing, to reduce the delay and improve accuracy Degree, to enhance the feedback of touch, but also with the 5G take the edge; VR content ecology is still a long way to building which & hellip;
Many industry insiders told PingWest to play (WeChat: wepingwest) & mdash; & mdash; VR today is best cut from a vertical small scene to find a fixed scene. "It is easy to become a cannon fodder now, and many giants, though they have announced their strategy, are still on the sidelines."
But for now, HTC has resolutely insisted on doing, All in VR.
The so-called All in VR, is & mdash; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; starting in 2015, HTC Vive both hardware and content, Platform-level copying is the next platform for mobile handsets, and HTC is well-prepared, like the Apple of the Mobile Age, but the question is whether the real future and how to play are still unknown.
Narrow from the current hardware point of view, HTC Vive's current play is the same as Apple introduced high-end products. Its products are high-end products, and to get involved in lower prices in the market.
Bao Yongzhe, deputy general manager of HTC's new virtual reality technology department, once said HTC Vive's current play style and mobile phones of the year have also been different. This time, not only the hardware but also the software ecosystem will join HTC Vive's planning.
However, Wang Congqing think - Although the popularity of smart phones for more than eight years, but the next 20-30 VR may be fully universal.
This sentence may be side-understanding. First, the current VR may still exist technical deficiencies, leading to the current experience with the thought of a certain distance, such as the need to wait for the development of 5G technology; second, after the establishment of technical support, it may appear hardware and software on the new Play and then continue to prosper.
Third, 20 or 30 years, now do not know VR is a bright future or abyss, but HTC Vive has decided not to go back.
Waiting for dawn
In this media interview room on MWC 2018, Wang Congqing, general manager of HTC Vive China, is hovering behind the advertisement of HTC U11 + brand-new flagship mobile phone. However, the interview section did not mention too much about cell phones. Architecture changes, is fully responsible for China's VR + mobile phone business questions are not complained.
Wang Congqing believes that the prosperity of VR needs to depend on the development of communication technologies like smartphones. For example, if VR has 5G technology, not only contents but also hardware, it can provide users with better low-latency and high-definition content .
For the future, Wang Congqing often referred to the media as a scene - if you have a 5G technology, it combines with VR products, it will be worn like a glasses to the outside, we do not need to connect with the computer.
VR / AR is the most natural way to interact. You jump and jump. You pull the trigger and pull the trigger. Do not need to teach.
Wang Congqing mentioned scenario may really exist, there are already many large companies in particular to verify this path - Google Google Glass as early as the earliest, Microsoft Hololens, rumored Apple is also developing its own AR products, many Startup companies are also studying this type of product. HTC is also a pioneer.
However, the unification of the industry that this type of product also takes some time, at the moment can only be aimed at a very small niche industrial market.
HTC All in VR, from the current performance point of view, perhaps they have been prepared for long-term war of resistance, they chose the most difficult, but also the only way to walk in the end.
In 2018, Wang Xuehong, HTC's chairman, boarded the MWC official Keynote session, setting a tone for this exhibition. She did not mention the mobile phone again and proposed the idea of Vive Reality in order to map the word VR. The implication is that the future of VR / AR will be defined by HTC Vive.
The 8 years ago in 2010, Wang Xuehong definition of HTC almost on behalf of Android phones and Apple rival.
VR may be HTC's last straw. Now that I have seized it, let it go. HTC, we all hope you can succeed again.