Taiwanese manufacturer HTC has just announced the arrival of the first smartphone specifically designed for the metaverse. Expected in April 2022, the phone will offer features focused on augmented and virtual reality. The Android device will accompany the rise of the Viveverse, the digital universe developed by the brand.
HTC will launch the first phone designed for the metaverse in April 2022
HTC is getting ready to unveil the first smartphone built for the metaverse. Interviewed by the media Digitimes during the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, the cell phone show, Charles Huang, HTC’s general manager for the Asia-Pacific region, revealed the existence of the project.
According to the official, the Taiwanese manufacturer has developed a high-end Android phone that focuses on the use of the metaverse. The smartphone should incorporate exclusive features dedicated to digital worlds. It would also be optimized to display virtual and augmented reality applications.
The former smartphone giant plans to launch this mysterious terminal during April 2022. It is not yet known whether HTC aims to market the device in Europe or whether it intends to focus on Asia. Besides, Charles Huang did not say more about the features or the technical specifications of the future phone.
Former giant of the cell phone industry, the Taiwanese group HTC has been gradually eclipsed by the competition, including Samsung, Xiaomi or Apple. The brand has been particularly discreet lately. Rather than focusing on the smartphone sector, HTC has decided to concentrate on the world of virtual reality.
Note that this is the first time a manufacturer has announced that a smartphone is specifically designed for the metaverse. On the other hand, phones designed for augmented reality have already seen the light of day in recent years.
This is notably the case of the iPhone. Since the launch of iPhone 12 in 2020, Apple has integrated a sensor dedicated to augmented reality in the iPhone camera. This Lidar scanner allows to improve the rendering of objects displayed in augmented reality by mapping the environment.
HTC announces the Viverse, its own metaverse
Nevertheless, it would be wrong to believe that HTC is just surfing on the metaverse trend without proposing anything concrete. HTC also announced the Viverse, its own digital universe, during MWC 2022.
In a press release, the manufacturer unveiled a virtual world accessible through several devices. This includes access with a smartphone, tablet, computer or virtual reality headset, such as the Vive Flow.
Announced last October, this HTC headset with a compact design is similar to a pair of traditional glasses. To work, the headset must be connected to a smartphone. It is possible that the smartphone mentioned by HTC is intended to work in harmony with the Vive Flow.
The Viverse is composed of several sections, including Vive Sync. This platform allows users to organize and participate in work meetings in virtual reality. The Viveverse also features Vive Engage, a section that allows users around the world to inaugurate events.
The Viverse also includes a non-fungible token trading platform (NFT). HTC will actually allow users to store the digital works in their possession as well as their cryptocurrencies on the Vive Flow. NFTs will obviously be part of the experience HTC offers in its metaverse.
To access HTC’s digital world, one will have to go through the solutions developed by the brand, including Vive Browser, a virtual reality-based browser, or Vive Connect, a portal to move from one universe to another.
“Viverse offers experiences that can be accessed on any device, anywhere, and is enabled by virtual and augmented reality, high-speed connectivity, artificial intelligence and blockchain technologies that HTC has been investing in for several years,”said Cher Wang, co-founder and president of HTC
This isn’t the first time HTC has shown interest in blockchain. Back in 2018, the Taiwanese manufacturer launched a smartphone that incorporates blockchain technology, the HTC Exodus. The Taiwanese brand offered several versions of the phone, including a limited edition designed in partnership with the cryptocurrency exchange platform Binance.
The second version of the device, the Exodus 1S, is even capable of supporting full-node Bitcoin (BTC). In the same vein, HTC has also developed the EXODUS 5G Hub, a 5G-enabled router capable of hosting a Bitcoin node.