HTC doesn't appear regard virtual and augmented reality technologies – VR and AR, respectively – as two separate things if recent reports about a brief CES 2018 interview with Alvin Wang Graylin are anything to go by. Graylin serves as the China Regional President of HTC's Vive division and, according to the source, believes that both technologies are on a path to merge. What's more, the executive says that when that happens, the resulting "immersive computing" will become the defacto way to interact with both technology and other people.
That is already an interesting stance to be taken by an executive from one of the world's premiere VR manufacturers, despite that it's shared by many leaders in the tech industry. That's especially true since the general public tends to view the two technologies as completely different things. However, Graylin seems to think that AR and VR merging could go quite a bit further than has been proposed by executives at other companies. He appears to envision a merging of technologies into a type of device which adapts to how they are being used and a user's surroundings. The analogy also seems to imply that such a device would be worn frequently enough and for long enough periods that such a device could replace smartphones. For example, he imagines a wearable which immerses a user into a full VR experience not dissimilar from how VR is used today but which then alters itself when that user finishes the experience and decides to go outside. According to Graylin, it would be able to switch itself over to AR mode. Presumably, that means it would providing wearers with a wealth of information about both the world around them and their connected lives, while still letting users see the actual world around them.
It bears mentioning that the dream of a mixed reality revolution is, for now, almost purely speculative. Some of the technology required to create that kind of a device does already exist and there are plenty of companies – such as Microsoft, among others – trying to make mixed reality a real-world thing. Meanwhile, executives from Google and Microsoft also nearly mirror the Graylin's ideas about merging the technologies into something more adaptive. So it will almost certainly begin to happen at some point, whether the launch of that next innovative step comes from HTC or somewhere else. Unfortunately, the market just doesn't seem ready for that yet and there are still many challenges to overcome if something that ambitious is to be tested.