HTC today announced the Vive XR Suite, a bundle of five enterprise-focused VR applications which are unified under a single login. The company has tapped the likes of VRChat, Museum of Other Realities, and ENGAGE to offer businesses a range of VR services to choose from.
HTC is trying to seize the moment (as much of the world remains on lockdown) to make VR-based remote education, meetings, and socializing the new norm. The company is bundling a handful of collaborative and social VR applications together under the Vive XR Suite brand, which it hopes will make it easy for businesses to get up and running with remote work and collaboration.
Here are the five applications that make up the bundle, and the partners that HTC has chosen to deliver each:
- VIVE Sync (HTC) – Meetings
- VIVE Campus (VirBELA) – Virtual Offices
- VIVE Sessions (ENGAGE) – Lectures
- VIVE Social (VRChat) – Social
- VIVE Museum (Museum of Other Realities) – Art Exhibit
The company says that the suite of applications will be unified through a single login. Though the bundle is VR focused, HTC says all five apps will also support non-VR users on PC, and some of the apps will also support smartphone connectivity.
The suite is ostensibly SteamVR-based, which means it should support the full range of PC-based headsets. HTC is also promising support for headsets based on Vive Wave, like the company’s own Vive Focus.
HTC plans to launch the suite of applications in Q3 this year, and will offer both a free version, and a premium subscription version with “enterprise/creator level capabilities and commercial use licenses.”
The company has also partnered with major brands in Asia, like Baidu and HP, to collaborate on the distribution of the app bundle.
The Vive XR Suite is an interesting, but seemingly clumsy move by HTC.
There’s never going to be a single remote VR app that fits all needs, but bringing together a hodgepodge of apps with similar capabilities under a single umbrella might be more confusing than helpful. It’s hard to imagine a business that needs both a virtual meeting room and a space for art exhibitions—or one that wants to pay for both as part of one package.
But it will really all be contingent on how closely integrated the suite of applications is. With careful execution, an integrated group of virtual productivity tools with no extraneous overlap could be a boon to businesses who want to quickly get up and running.
Right now HTC says the suite consists of five “separate applications.” And while they’ll be unified under a single login, it isn’t clear yet if the apps will share common features and capabilities like avatars, interfaces, user-generated content, preferences, or friends lists.
From the information provided by HTC, it seems like early days for the Vive XR Suite, so we’ll have to wait to see of the whole feels like more than the sum of its parts.
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