The past five months have seen a lot of sudden changes to how we interact with each other both socially and professionally. There has been an increase in the use of the Internet and computing devices, including smartphones, for work and to keep in touch with friends and families. HTC, however, notes that all these sudden innovations still make humans slaves to flat, two-dimensional screens. It is for that reason that it is launching a couple of XR apps to take that experience to the third dimension, calling it the Next Normal of computing.
The VIVE XR Suite is composed of five applications that, as you might expect, mostly cover the gamut of VR and AR experiences that could be applied to virtual events and meetings. Both VIVE Sync and VirBELA, for example, create virtual offices for employees to meet and work. Engage and VRChat, on the other hand, give a more social spin on virtual gatherings. The Museum of Other Realities or MOR is exactly what it sounds, a place to exhibit out of this world art.
Contrary to its name, the VIVE XR Suite isn’t really exclusive to HTC’s VR platform or VR devices. It can also be used on “pancake” screens, a.k.a. traditional computers and mobile devices. For the best experience, however, HTC recommends using XR devices, particularly its own selection of PC or standalone VIVE headsets.
All five apps will be utilized in what HTC is launching as its VIVE Events, an end-to-end virtual events service. HTC envisions that companies and organizes will see it as an option to hold virtual events in the future, whether for work, for entertainment, or even launching new products.
The HTC VIVE XR Suite doesn’t come for free, though, at least not all of it. A lite version will indeed be free of charge but a premium Pro subscription will be needed for things like creator capabilities or commercial use. The Suite is expected to launch first in China in the third quarter of the year with a beta coming out soon.