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The HTC CEO believes that the mixed reality space will see considerable boost if giants like Apple also launch their own devices.
HTC Corporation’s CEO Cher Wang has said she believes Apple will launch a mixed reality headset sometime soon. Although this move would directly compete with HTC, Wang has confirmed that she does not consider the development a cause for concern.
Wang said that Apple would likely launch a device sometime this year. In a conversation with CNBC at the Mobile World Congress recently held in Barcelona, Wang said she expects the earliest date to be by mid-year or a little later. She also added that Apple’s device would be a mixed reality or an XR product. XR (Extended Reality) offers a wide range of experiences that combine the digital and physical worlds, including Mixed Reality (MR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Virtual Reality (VR).
Speaking on why she’s not worried, the HTC CEO said Apple’s mixed reality launch only confirms that HTC’s move into the sector is necessary and commendable. According to Wang:
“Its really proven that our direction is correct. Competition is always good.”
Wang also added that the possibility of giants like Meta Platforms, Samsung, and Apple entering the mixed reality space is also welcome. She believes these companies will augment the general adoption of mixed reality and XR devices. According to her, this will eventually boost HTC’s business.
Wang buttressed her point by pointing out that Apple’s decision to enter was carefully thought out. She believes the company would not want a stake if it wouldn’t pay off:
“Apple is always more cautious. I think the market is not big enough [that] they probably will enter.”
HTC Still Betting on Mixed Reality Despite Interest from Apple and Others
CEO Wang’s bet that interest from other tech giants will boost the sector is evidenced by several moves from other companies. For instance, Meta launched its Quest Pro in October of last year. Retailing at $1,500, the device comes with several features that make the mixed reality experience much more interesting for users. For instance, users can enjoy eye tracking, 1800 x 1920 pixels for each eye, and a 90Hz refresh rate.
Samsung is also interested in mixed reality. Last week, the South Korean electronics giant told CNBC it is “working out” a roadmap for creating mixed reality devices. Samsung executive vice president Patrick Chomet highlighted the company’s partnership with Alphabet and US chipmaker Qualcomm. However, Chomet did not provide any details on a launch. Microsoft also has the Hololens device, originally launched in 2016.
All of these devices are likely to help the gradual shift into the metaverse. Although there are multiple metaverse versions, mixed reality and XR devices help to improve the experience while interacting with any one.
Interestingly, HTC has its own metaverse, called the HTC Viverse. Regardless, the company has said it will focus on interconnectivity. According to HTC’s global head of product Shen Ye:
“The metaverse is kind of growing in a state where so many social media companies and walled garden companies are trying to build it out themselves. Our goal is to make sure it’s as open and interconnected as possible.”
In addition to the private consumer experience, HTC is also applying its technology industrially. The company works with several police departments and the United States Air Force to help with virtual training experiences.