The Taiwanese smartphone vendor HTC has declined to comment on reports about the company's rumored tie-up with Israeli startup Replay Technologies Inc. A report carried by Taiwanese business magazine Business Next had ostensibly quoted Replay Technologies co-founder and CEO Mr. Oren Haimovitch-Yogev for a report published last Sunday which said that HTC chairperson and CEO Ms. Cher Wang had to cancel her trip to Israel for talks with Replay executives in light of the massive financial turmoil being faced by the Taiwanese company, resulting in its stock prices plummeting to an all-time low since the company went public in 2002.
According to the recent report, Ms. Wang's hush-hush visit to the Middle-Eastern nation was a prelude to the two companies joining forces to develop new technologies to be used for the HTC Vive VR headset, which the Taiwanese company has jointly developed with American video game development and distribution company, Valve Corporation – a company which is based out of Bellevue, Washington and is responsible for the wildly popular online video game distribution platform Steam. The headset is said to launch in the market later this year, when it will compete with products such as Samsung's Gear VR, Oculus' Rift and Sony's much-awaited Morpheus headsets. As for Replay Technologies, while the company is relatively unknown to the general public, it is responsible for a proprietary 3D video format called freeD, which stands for Free Dimensional Video. The technology is said to work by recording scenes in 'true 3D pixels', which enhances the virtual reality effect for users. The technology is said to have been used for instant replays at a number of sporting events including, but not limited to the 2012 Olympic Games, NBA All-Star Games, MLB games and the Super Bowl.
With HTC being tight-lipped about its business relations with Replay, it would be difficult to objectively analyze what the two companies have in store for virtual reality enthusiasts in the future. While everything is still in the realms of rumors and speculations right now, the fact remains that VR is slowly becoming one of the most talked-about segments of consumer technology, and is being viewed in many quarters as the next frontier in digital entertainment. While the category continues to be a niche one, analysts believe it may not be so for a very long period and is just one killer product away from hitting primetime.