The fifth generation of mobile networks is likely to provide a massive boost to virtual and augmented reality solutions once it starts being deployed on a large scale in 2020, HTC believes. In a recent interview with Gulf News, HTC Vive Asia VP Raymond Pao described both AR and VR as a potentially "perfect fit for 5G," having added that improved communications solutions will allow for more cloud-based computational power and enable an entirely new generation of headsets which are lighter and more compact because the content they're delivering is at least partially processed in the cloud. A high-speed, low-latency wireless network would also contribute to the company's efforts to eliminate cables from the VR equation in a more seamless manner and deliver a truly untethered experience, the executive suggested.
While the initial adoption of VR solutions in 2016 was driven by individual consumers, the technology is now benefitting from vertical integrations on a significant scale, Mr. Pao said, having pointed to sectors such as healthcare, education, and real estate as some industries that are now embracing such technologies. The Taiwanese original equipment manufacturer recently introduced its latest VR offering in the form of the Vive Pro headset which improves on the resolution and general performance of the original Vive, with Mr. Pao asserting the device is the most powerful gadget of its kind, providing yet another indication that HTC will be using its core specification list as one of its main selling points.
HTC Chief Executive Officer Cher Wang already touted 5G as a potentially massive benefit to consumer VR use cases last month, having signaled the Taipei-based company will be looking to leverage the new wireless solutions as quickly as possible. HTC just endured the worst year in its history, having lost $580 million over the course of 2017, largely due to the continuing struggles of its mobile unit which hasn't delivered a commercially successful smartphone for some time now. The company sees VR as its path to long-term sustainability that will allow it to capitalize on what many industry trackers are predicting will be a market worth tens of billions of dollars several years from now.