Huawei Dips its Hands in the Virtual Reality Cookie Jar
Popular smartphone maker and one of the leading brands in the market today, Huawei, is breaking into the business of virtual reality gaming with its new Huawei VR headset. This was announced in Shanghai on April 15th, 2016. The Huawei VR headset is strikingly different from the PC and gaming console-tethered VR headsets. The Huawei VR headset will function a lot like the Samsung Gear VR. All you have to do is insert your Huawei handset, maybe the P9, P9 plus or Mate 8, into the device and place it on your face.
Huawei has never been shy about direct competition and they have gone toe to toe with other hardware manufacturers in the past. Back in September of last year, the Mate S announcement showed audiences a phone that could utilize its brand of force touch-like pressure sensitivity to weigh items. Apple only rebranded the force touch to 3D in its iPhone 6S and incorporated some operating system quick actions into it. One of such OS actions was forcefully pushing to call on the application wither or iMessage preview.
No mention of price has been made however. And we still don’t know when we can expect the VR headsets to hit the market. Speculators can only estimate it to be sometime this year. The guys at Android Authority say it will most likely be this season.
Like the Samsung Gear VR, when you plug your device into the VR headset, it receives all it needs to track the motion of your head and render a fictional reality. Huawei goes a step further and is the first virtual reality solution to make use of the USB-C. With Huawei’s line of phones that offer only 1080p displays, the Mate 8 and the P9 may not offer up the same visual effects and clarity as is obtainable in a device like the Samsung Gear VR. This is because Samsung phones can offer up to 2K level of pixel density on their phone screens.
The Huawei helmet offers up a larger trend which is cheaper and equally immersive virtual reality experiences along with the release of smartphones. But Huawei will find it very difficult to compete with many VR developers that focus on making their games Oculus compatible. This is the ace up the sleeve that the Samsung Gear VR has over Huawei. The Gear VR is still a Samsung product but it gets extra support from Facebook who owns Oculus and it even supports some software playable on the Oculus’ main VR product, the Rift.
Gaming dilettantes may still have to turn their attentions to the higher end headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC vive but while the Huawei VR offers less power and resolution, it offers the release of cheaper alternatives that are equally immersive and offer excellent experiences along with the smartphone releases.
Much of the hardware that is required to offer a good VR experience is already incorporated in the smartphones we have today. Thus a visor can comfortably strap on the device on the face and be immersed in the virtual reality world. Soon major brands like LG, HTC and even Apple will jump on the bandwagon.