HTC, which has already partnered with Valve to create the HTC Vive headset, is now aiming to improve that ecosystem with Vive X, a new program to help fund VR startups. Vive Pre was the name of program where HTC distrubuted 7,000 VR headsets to developers, and now we’re seeing a continuation of expansion of the Vive brand.
This should also help HTC develop software support for the Vive headset for years to come, which is critical to the company in view of SuperData Research analyst’s expectations that VR will possibly generate $40 billion in revenue by the year 2020.
Although HTC’s $100 million invested on Vive X may seem like a great move, there are no safe bets when it comes to technology, as many start-ups in the same range of interaction have had to be scrapped.
It will initially be started in the cities of Beijing, Taipei and San Francisco, with plans to roll out to other worldwide hubs in the near future.
The programme will be launched in Beijing next month.
Chairwoman and CEO of HTC, Cher Wang and the HTC Vive.
The notifications pop up during the VR experience, and are stored for later viewing or retrieval in the HTC Vive dashboard. Selected startups from Asia will be invited to apply to the Beiing pilot of Vive X in May. As a global innovator in smart mobile devices and technology, HTC has produced award-winning products and industry firsts since its inception in 1997, including the critically acclaimed HTC One and HTC Desire lines of smartphones.
HTC launched the iOS companion app for owners of HTC Vive and iPhones to get notifications and be updated while users are immersed in virtual reality. Back then, Mike Rothenberg, CEO and Founder, Rothenberg Ventures, said in an interaction with The Verge, “Just as the Internet was nascent 20 years ago but now is ubiquitous, virtual reality technology will transform every industry over the next decade or two”.
Vive X will consider companies and teams with no prior funding, seed or angel round, series A round and series B round or later.
The company is framing the initiative as a global VR accelerator and, beyond what it means for existing and new VR startups, it demonstrates that HTC is seriously committed to making real inroads in VR.
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