HTC cuts price of Vive virtual reality system by $200, could spur more enterprise pilots
HTC cut the price of its Vive virtual reality system by $200 in a move that follows discounting by Facebook's Oculus Rift.
In a blog post, HTC said it would offer its Vive system for $599. That bundle includes headset, sensors and motion controllers. Oculus in July said that its Rift and Touch were available for $399 for a limited time. Both Oculus and HTC are chasing Sony's Playstation VR, which has sold more than a million units so far and goes for $399.
If you're looking at the consumer market, it's easy to argue that HTC's price cut doesn't do much. However, HTC noted that the Vive hardware has attracted enterprise partners such as Intel, UPS, Volkswagen and Salesforce as enterprise partners.
UPS has outlined how it is using virtual reality and Vive for driver training. At $599, the Vive has become more affordable for businesses looking at proof-of-concept pilots.
HTC added that more global brand partners will be announced in the second half of the year.
Certainly, Vive hopes to play in the gaming space, but the win for HTC may be the enterprise. Yes, augmented reality will initially have more use cases, but HTC Vive can garner traction for training, maintenance and other enterprise tasks. Indeed, developers are already gravitating toward Vive and Rift.
Another key reason HTC has a shot in the enterprise: It is one of the few early players focused on corporate uses. Microsoft HoloLens rhymes with virtual reality, but is more augmented reality. Google Glass is more augmented than virtual reality.
Add it up and HTC's price cut may be more about business than landing a mass of consumers.
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- Google Glass returns with Enterprise Edition: Why the rebirth, partner approach makes sense Google Glass Enterprise Edition gets the company into industry-specific use cases and relies on partners. The approach can work in a nascent field.
- AR to be key to business, as VR lands with consumers, says IDC IDC projected that AR and VR headsets will grow from just under 10 million units in 2016 to nearly 100 million units in 2021.
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- Microsoft's HoloLens: How these surgeons can now voyage around patients' organs Researchers in Oslo have been working for years on turning 2D medical imagery into 3D but now they've used Microsoft's HoloLens to give surgeons more precision in operations.