HTC to launch a 'Metaverse-focused' phone in April

In a bid to revive its brand, the esrtwhile-leading smartphone company is looking to the Metaverse for answers
March 03, 2022 - Tom Peters

The Taiwanese electronics company HTC is currently working on a phone with Metaverse applications to be released in April.

The announcement came from HTC’s general manager for the Asia-Pacific region, Charles Huang, at the MWC 2022 event, who said the company would be launching a new high-end phone with Metaverse features next month. Most of the features were unspecified, however, Huang confirmed that “it would come with certain VR features that will be helpful for “Metaverse” functions.”

HTC’s major announcement at the MWC 2022 was the launch of Viverse, the “next step” for its Vive VR headset. Viverse is HTC’s version of the Metaverse that plans to fuse VR, XR, 5G, blockchain technology, NFTs. Many believe that the upcoming “Metaverse smartphone” would play a huge role in the Viverse ecosystem.

HTC’s venture into the Metaverse is expected to be met with competition. Although it is the first company to announce a “Metaverse phone,” other brands have tried experimenting with the concept. For instance, Google tried to integrate Daydream VR with its phones, while Samsung tried the same with Gear VR. Qualcomm also came up with its Snapdragon Spaces XR Developer Platform project.

However, both Samsung and Google have abandoned their smartphone VR projects in recent years. This led to some critics making comments that if tech giants like Google could not make the concept work, it is unlikely HTC’s new phone would be impressive.

While they may have slowed down on their VR smartphone projects, Samsung and Google are still very much interested in the metaverse. Samsung already has a virtual store in the Decentraland metaverse and has even held an event there. Meanwhile, Google is investing in its Glass – AR glasses – for the Metaverse.

Incidentally, HTC’s upcoming phone won’t be the first time it has tried fusing blockchain technology with its products. In 2018, HTC launched its Exodus smartphone line. The phones came preinstalled with decentralised apps (Dapps) and a cryptocurrency wallet and were even capable of mining small amounts of cryptocurrency. Unfortunately, the phones did not enjoy much success.


Now seems like the best time to invest in the metaverse, and with the rising count of brands exploring the technology, many companies feel the same. After all, analysts have projected that the global metaverse market would reach a US$758.6 billion valuation by 2026.

 

Photo: htc.com

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