March 3, 2022 – At Mobile World Congress 2022 (MWC) this week in Barcelona, Spain, HTC VIVE has unveiled its metaverse offering with the announcement of what it is calling “Viverse”, the company’s own world within the metaverse that will provide users with access to new experiences, as well as a seamless gateway to other VR universes in collaboration with partners worldwide.
HTC VIVE debuted a live demo of its latest additions to Viverse at MWC, allowing attendees to enter Viverse via a browser using a multitude of devices such as tablets, PCs, smartphones, and also the VIVE Flow, HTC VIVE’s new immersive virtual reality (VR) glasses.
According to the company, users were able to seamlessly move between different venues in VIVE Sync and Engage, with the latest Viverse demos illustrating just how easy it is to travel between different worlds while maintaining identity, security, and privacy.
“VIVERSE is the next chapter of our VIVE Reality vision. VIVE is our brand and means ‘life’, and Verse refers to the chapters of life. Viverse provides seamless experiences, reachable on any device, anywhere, and is enabled by the virtual and augmented reality, high-speed connectivity, AI, and blockchain technologies that HTC has invested in for several years. We invite partners to join us on his fantastic journey to the internet of presence.” said Cher Wang, Co-Founder and Chairwoman at HTC.
According to HTC, it is working with hundreds of partners and developers to make Viverse an open ecosystem that will allow users to create new memories, and enjoy new experiences. Partners include:
- Beatday – An interactive holographic music platform across PC, VR and mobile devices;
- Engage – A virtual communication platform that provides immersive, collaborative environments for live events, meetings, and trainings;
- VRChat – A collection of social VR experiences to interact with friends and build community;
- VIVE Sync – HTC’s all-in-one meeting and collaboration solution for VR;
- Museum of Other Realities – A growing collection of interactive art and experimentation to connect, share, and experience virtual reality art with others.
Viverse also has features that make it easier to personalize and manage the user experience. Users enter Viverse through VIVE Connect, the cross-platform space that allows users to enjoy other worlds, apps, games, content and more in Viverse.
HTC added that Viverse has been built around open standards like WebXR to ensure an open and interoperable experience for users that enables them to move freely between worlds. Users can also surf the web in XR using VIVE Browser, an XR browser that supports Web3 login, WebXR and WebAssembly. The company stated that VIVE Browser is compatible with many XR devices.
Additionally, for added metaverse compatibility of its devices, HTC’s VIVE Flow VR glasses now support a cryptowallet where users can store and manage NFT and digital assets securely using WalletConnect.
HTC noted that as the metaverse continues to expand, it is important that the XR industry looks at ways to keep people safe. In order to secure young people’s privacy and security in the metaverse, the company has introduced Vive Guardian, parental controls to help protect children from inappropriate behaviors and contents in the virtual world.
Vive Guardian features two modes – Free Mode, and Broadcast. In Free Mode, parents can grant access to specific apps or pieces of content and then the user is free to explore within those apps. In Broadcast mode, a single experience – app or piece of content – is launched from the parent’s companion app and broadcast to the headset.
Adults can also remotely see what content is being used on a child’s VR device through the companion app on Android smartphones – built using similar technology to HTC’s VIVE Business Training app. Children also must request permission to make purchases, download new content and more so there is greater transparency for kids and parents.
HTC also plans to launch VIVE Create, a browser-based, code-free VR content creation platform that makes it easy to create customized VR content for families, as well as educational and training purposes.
HTC sees Viverse as something that users will be experiencing “from the time you wake up in the morning until the time you go to sleep at night.” Whether users will buy into that level of constant connectivity at this early stage of the metaverse’s evolution is yet to be seen though.
Viverse can be accessed today worldwide on Android tablets and smartphones, and select VIVE headsets.
Image / video credit: HTC VIVE / YouTube