HTC is developing a new virtual reality headset called the Vive Eclipse, as suggested by a trademark application submitted to the New Zealand Intellectual Property Office earlier this month. The term itself is clearly described as being related to head-mounted displays, reality-simulating software, handheld controllers, and accessories for mobile devices, indicating that the Taiwanese original equipment manufacturer may be working on a device meant to rely on a smartphone and directly compete with the likes of Google’s Daydream View and Samsung’s Gear VR lineups. The term itself may also denote a successor to the HTC Vive seeing how trademark applications usually have an extremely broad scope, especially those filed by tech companies.
The application describing the Vive Eclipse trademark was originally filed on Friday, October 6th, and has yet to be approved by competent authorities. This state of affairs indicates that whatever the term is meant to denote, it likely won’t be commercialized in the near future, at least not until 2018. No similar applications have been uncovered in any other part of the world so far and it remains unclear why HTC opted to lead its trademark application process for the Vive Eclipse with New Zealand instead of Taiwan, United States, or the European Union like it usually does. The device itself doesn’t appear to be directly related to the Vive Focus, a standalone headset that the Taoyuan City-based consumer electronics manufacturer is rumored to be developing.
HTC is expected to significantly ramp up its already massive investments in the VR industry going forward, with this product strategy shift being partially prompted by poor performance in the smartphone segment which has been burdening the company for many years now. While the tech giant isn’t moving out of the handset business entirely, it recently opted to downsize its operations by selling a significant portion of its talent pool to Google, in addition to providing Alphabet’s subsidiary with a license to utilize its vast patent portfolio. The current state of affairs is now expected to lead to additional VR investments on HTC’s part as the company is hoping that this industry segment will continue growing in a rapid manner and serve as a backbone of its future sustainability.