Virtual reality is not just an immersive way to play video games - it can also help you make it healthier. We have already seen how the Oculus Quest 2 has changed lives with its engaging exercise apps, and now HTC VR vets want to provide you with an easy way to escape a hectic day and take some time for your well-being. mental avec the new HTC Vive Flow at $ 499.
These "immersive glasses " aim to reduce the friction of jumping into virtual reality, with a super compact design that you can slip on anywhere to jump into a quick meditation session or watch an episode of your Netflix favorite show.
HTC Vive Flow 's user-friendly design and wide selection of apps are compelling, but they come at a steep price and require you to have an Android phone. Wondering if they will be worth it? Here is what I think after an hour of practice.
HTC is also launching a new level of its Viveport subion service specially designed for Flow.one of $ 5.99 per month will give you access to a set of apps focused on things like wellness, brain training, casual gaming, and productivity. will join the Viveport Infinity subion, which gives you hundreds of apps and games (including popular choices like Superhot and Moss) for $ 12.99 per month or $ 99 per year. Mike Andronico / CNN figcaption>
The HTC Vive Flow is one of the most compact virtual reality headsets I've ever got my hands on, with a design that essentially resembles an oversized pair of sunglasses. I wouldn't exactly walk around in public with one (not that you can really do that with these things), but I would feel less visible wearing them during a flight than with, say, a typical VR headset like the Oculus Quest 2.
The black plastic design of the Vive Flow is accented by a dark gray mesh fabric face covering, which attaches magnetically and can be easily removed and replaced (additional gaskets).taires will be available for purchase in wide and narrow sizes). That way, if you pass the helmet on to someone else, you can each use your own coating to avoid spreading nasty germs on your face.
Mike Andronico / CNN
I'm not sure why the Flow has two reflective eye covers - these aren't real glasses that you can see through - but they certainly help set it apart from other sm all VR headsets. Inside you'll find dioptric dials for adjust the focus of the headset so you can see clearis lying. These were easy to adjust and allowed me to correct what was initially somewhat blurry picture quality when I first put the headphones on. By comparison, the Oculus Quest 2 only has a single focus adjustment slider, so I liked the ability to adjust each eye individually on the Flow.
Unlike most VR glasses that wrap around your head via a headband, the Vive Flow is worn much like traditional glasses - with movable arms on either side that you can adjust to fit. your noggin. I felt a little bit of pressure on my temple when I first put on the Vive Flow, but thanks to the helmet's 6.6-ounce ventilated frame, I was quite comfortable during most of my hourapproximately with the device.
A good mix of applications for meditation, play and work
Mike Andronico / CNN
Vive Flow is positioned as an easy way to get started in a quick meditation session wherever you are, so the first app I tested was Tripp: a wellness platform popular currently available on
I started my meditation session in a virtual and colorful forest, and I finally started floating up in the sky and playing a bit of a game that challenged me to collect coins in the air. As someone who has dabbled in audio-only meditation apps like Calm, I really enjoyed the added visual element that Tripp offers, and the feeling of physically moving around a virtual space was relaxing and captivating. Tripp starts at $ 4.99 per month and is already available at Oculus Quest , Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR , but this seems to be particularly suited to the compact support and playback experience that the Vive Flow has aims to deliver.
Netflix was next on my list and it works the same on the Vive Flow as it does on other VR headsets I've tested. I sat in a virtual black theater while turning on some Friday Night Lights and struggled to zoom in and out while adjusting the reading. Again, Netflix in VR isn't anything new, but given the compact design of the Vive Flow, I can see it's a better option for watching movies on an airplane rather than using these.little grainy screens on the seat in front of you.
I got a taste of how Vive Flow can be used for work while testing VIVE Sync, HTC's virtual reality conferencing app. Once I joined a meeting, I sat in a virtual outdoor space, with options to do things like share files and present videos. I don't personally see myself often using an app like this, and I should try it out with other people to see how it really holds up in everyday use. But it certainly looks like Vive Sync could provide an engaging change of pace from the nonstop Zoom calls we've all been on for the past 18 months or so.
To get an idea of how the Flow works as an everyday gaming device I tried Space Slurpies which is essentially a more immersive and intricate version of the classic snake game we all played on our Nokia phones. wrong with this one, because controlling a three-dimensional snake in virtual reality using a simple Android phone didn't seem very intuitive (you will be able to pair a bluetooth controller when playing Android games through the setting. Still, there were a few moments where I got into a good groove, and it was fun to watch the many colorful creatures swirling in and out of sight.
Mike Andronico / CNN
The HTC VIVE Flow provided pretty solid performance for such a small headset - I place- the somewhere between a mobile powered headset like the Samsung Gear VR and the standalone Oculus Quest 2 depending on my limited grip time. Games and apps looked crisp and moved smoothly, but I would bring the visual quality closer to something like a previous generation console rather than a high-end PC.
Apps like Tripp and Space Slurpies looked pretty colorful and crisp on the screen 3164 × 1778 of the headset, and I could see a decent amount at a time thanks to the wide 100-degree field of view. The headset's 75Hz refresh rate (which dictates overall smoothness) allowed the content to s ' display pretty smoothly. To put those numbers in context, the Quest 2 features an approximately 89-degree field of view and a resolution of 1832 x 1920 pixels per eye, and can produce a smoother 90Hz refresh rate for games and applications. You make a slight compromise on the overall smoothness of the flow, but you will have a wider field of view.
JWas impressed by the Flow's spatial audio speakers integrated into the inner sides of the helmet, which allowed me to clearly hear what was happening on screen even in a busy outdoor space with people talking. If you want more immersive sound, you can also pair your own Bluetooth headphones.
The One Big Take
You will have to couple the Vive Flow to a phonee Android to use it. It's not the first VR headset to have such a requirement, and the fact that your phone does some of the heavy lifting is probably the reason why the Flow is able to be so compact. You can even access your device's home screen directly from the headset to check email, browse the web, or launch disturbance apps without removing the flow.
But such a requirement limits the number of people who can use the Flow, and as an iPhone user I am a little disappointed that I cannot use the new HTC headset with my device current. It also gives the impression that the stream of $ 499 is a particularly high investment compared to the $ 299 Oculus Quest 2 , which is completely self-contained, offers room-scale virtual reality and even includes controllers for playing games.
The HTC Vive Flow is a neat concept. Even the most compact VR headsets you can buy right now are still quite bulky, and the idea of being able to put on a pair of lightweight glasses to quickly escape into a meditation app or virtual movie theater is compelling. But when that experience costs $ 499 - and forces you to haver an Android phone - the Flow is starting to look like a niche buy.
Still, we can't wait to spend more time with HTC's super-compact VR glasses, especially to see how they stack up against our favorite VR device in the Oculus Quest 2. In the meantime, these are ready to go. madness can pre-order HTC Vive Flow now . articlebody>