HTC VIVE, a global leader in innovative technology, today officially announces it will enter the cloud software business with the VIVE XR Suite offering at its hybrid event, “Journey into the Next Normal”, which took place physically in Shanghai and online through the Engage virtual events platform.
Comprised of five separate applications covering remote collaboration, productivity, events, social and culture, the VIVE XR Suite gives users the tools they need to overcome the new challenges faced while working and living in a socially distant world. The VIVE XR Suite is targeted to launch in Q3 2020 in China, with additional regions to follow throughout the year.
The VIVE XR Suite is comprised of 5 major applications (VIVE Sync, VIVE Sessions, VIVE Campus, VIVE Social, and VIVE Museum) to meet the daily needs of the users to overcome the new challenges faced by users around the world who are working, learning and living remotely. Although it is called an XR Suite, it is important to note that this software is not dependent on VR/AR devices to function. All the applications will function on existing PCs/laptops and some apps will even support modern smartphones, but for a superior immersive experience, PC VR or standalone VR devices would be recommended. Users will be able to login to all apps in the suite using a single account and across various devices they own. This integrated application bundle which is created in partnership with the leading software companies in their respective areas will provide a seamless experience for the consumer and business user. The CEO’s of all the software partners in the VIVE XR Suite (Immersive VR Education, VirBELA, VRChat, and Museum of Other Realities) attended the event live via video and within VR in avatar form.
“The world has irreversibly changed in the last 5 months taking us all on an accelerated path towards a digital-first future. This video-centric ‘New Normal’ we are living will rapidly transition to the XR first ‘Next Normal’ that awaits us. With our announcement today, HTC Vive is reaffirming our commitment to the XR industry and enabling the world with a suite of mission critical software applications that are intended to make all our lives richer and more productive,” said Alvin Wang Graylin, China President, HTC. “We are extremely excited to be partnered with the best-in-class solutions providers to create this integrated software bundle. And we are so honored to receive the industry-wide support from the channel and distribution partners we are announcing coop with today. These partners represent the leading firms nationally and globally in their fields. By working together with so many leading companies, we are confident we will be able to make a real impact in accelerating VR adoption near term and ultimately enabling an XR-powered global workforce.”
To ensure the broad distribution and adoption of the VIVE XR Suite, HTC has announced major partnerships with leaders in various industries to reach customers of all sizes:
- “Baidu is announcing the establishment of an in-depth partnership with HTC utilizing the VIVE XR Suite to provide more complete intelligent cloud solutions for our existing enterprise customers. Baidu is the largest Chinese search engine in the world, the largest Internet integrated service company in China, and recognized as one of the world’s leading AI platform company,” said Jie Ma, Vice President of Baidu, “Both parties will join forces to explore new developments in virtual reality technology and application, broaden the boundary of VR business services, create various immersive experience for consumers, explore the value of 5G and VR applications to service a broader market, and promote the growth of the VR ecosystem in the 5G era.”
- Hewlett-Packard, the global PC market leader, will pre-install the VIVE XR Suite in its mainstream business PCs/laptops to meet the needs of users brought on by the sweeping changes in the world now and in the coming future. Xinhong Zhou, Vice President of HP China and GM of the Personal Information Products Division of Greater China, said, “Today, the boundaries between everyone’s work, life, entertainment, social networking and learning scenes are becoming blurred. Flexibility is the future trend of the future of work. The VIVE XR Suite makes remote communication smoother and more immersive, and it is also highly interactive, which is well suited to the needs of our business customers. Users can easily access the VIVE XR Suite applications through HP products and experience the freedom to work from anywhere and at their own schedule.”
- BCW (Burson Cohn & Wolfe), one of the world’s largest full-service global communications and public relations agencies, will make VIVE XR software and solutions available to clients in China. “While digital transformation has been a buzz word for many years, it has quickly become a mission-critical priority for modern businesses today,” said Joe Peng, Managing Director and Head of Digital Innovation, BCW APAC. “We are excited to partner with HTC to provide BCW clients in China with the ability to integrate cutting-edge XR experiences into their communications activities.”
- “VSTECS and HTC will jointly promote VIVE XR SUITE in the Chinese market towards enterprise customers. As the leading distribution channel for enterprise software and solutions in China, VSTECS maintains a wide channel coverage and development capability, and is the trusted partner of many world-renowned technology providers,” said Qijiang Li, General Manager of VSTECS’s General Intelligent Software Division. “We are in a highly interconnected world. In order to enhance the core competence, companies need to expand domestic and foreign markets through establishing partnerships, sharing information and innovating. The VIVE XR SUITE will be increasingly important as China’s 5G network develops, bringing revolutionary ways for communication between users from various industries. With our professional distribution capabilities, VSTECS strives to provide HTC with a massive reach into the Chinese enterprise market.”
- Activation Group, the integrated marketing leader in the Greater China region, will cooperate with Vive Events to jointly develop a synergetic offering in China to deliver extraordinary experiential marketing and digital interactive solutions. According to Mr. Steve Lau Kam Yiu, CEO of Activation Group, “this strategic partnership with HTC Vive will allow the group to provide a new class of digital solutions by leveraging cutting edge XR technology to deliver astonishing marketing experience for our vast base of premium clients. Activation Group aims to continuously exceed the expectations of its clients with interactive marketing services that utilize the latest technological breakthroughs.”
VIVE XR Suite – Enabling the Impossible
As the New Normal of 2020 is forcing the world the change the way we interact with each in life and work, the VIVE XR Suite will enable us to remove the physical distance that separates us, while allowing us to maintain our humanity and productivity. The VIVE XR Suite apps is designed with openness in mind and thus compatible with all leading VR platforms and devices, and allow supports most non-VR devices. The VIVE XR Suite is also designed to support the VIVE WAVE SDK and thus will be compatible with the most current and future hardware products in the VIVE WAVE ecosystem over time. We want to ensure nothing is restricting the billions of people from accessing this important toolset.
The VIVE XR Suite will be available both in free lite-version, and as a premium Pro subscription version with enterprise/creator level capabilities and commercial use licenses. Both versions can be downloaded on various VR and non-VR app stores, while the VIVE XR Suite Pro subscription will be available for purchase on the VIVEPORT store. The official release of the VIVE XR Suite is expected in Q3/2020, but beta versions of the components will be gradually rolled out over time.
- Vive Sync is the remote collaboration and meeting application for businesses and remote employees from HTC Vive. Built specifically for businesses to improve communication and productivity, Vive Sync is a secure and intuitive VR collaboration tool allowing internal and external teams to seamlessly meet in an immersive way. David Sapienza, Vice President of Content Production at HTC, said, “I’m really happy to have Sync be part of the VIVE XR Suite. Combining multiple industry-leading solutions into one software suite will allow companies the flexibility to try different products, so they can evaluate the benefits of integrating XR solutions into their workflow without high cost or risk.”
- Engage, is a leading virtual platform used for doing large-scale online conferences and exhibitions and virtual education solutions. Through this platform, participants can get the feeling of real face-to-face interactions and experiences, without being limited by physical constraints put upon us by the new normal. David Whelan, CEO of IVRE (Engage), said, “We are delighted to be working closely with HTC as part of the VIVE XR Suite to help apply bleeding-edge technology to solve the world’s pressing problems. Partnering with Vive gives us access to the best XR technologies first to ensure our customers can receive the features they require to work and teach remotely inside VR”.
- VirBELA, a cloud-based enterprise application platform, expects to redefine the future of work with XR technology. The platform supports a customized virtual office environment, online meetings for up to 2500 people, and users can share and view various files at will. It enables enterprises to break through geographical restrictions, recruit talents from all over the country, improve work efficiency, save operating costs, and establish and develop in the cloud in a new way. VirBELA CEO, Alex Howland said, “VirBELA is proud to be part of the VIVE XR Suite and provide a collaborative virtual environment to businesses of all sizes for remote work, learning, events and social engagement. We look forward to our partnership with HTC as we work together to redefine the ‘Next Normal’.”
- VRChat is the leading XR based social community in the world today, serving millions of users from around the world and offering open tools for users to create and operate their own virtual worlds and interact with users from around the world. Co-founder and CEO of VRChat, Graham Gaylor said, “HTC and Vive played an instrumental role in creating and growing the consumer VR market world worldwide. VIVE XR Suite will have a similar impact on the enterprise market and VRChat is excited to be part of the suite and help expand XR adoption to more of the world!”
- MOR (Museum of Other Realities) is the leading destination for the virtual art community to exhibit and share their creations with the world. It has been the platform selection by many leading artists to conduct virtual art exhibitions and has just announced that it will cooperate with the Cannes Film Festival to operate their VR exhibition for 2020. CEO of the MOR, Robin Stethem said, “Over the last couple of years, MOR has worked closely with HTC to produce a virtual reality museum experience unlike anything in the world. We are excited to have been selected to be part of the VIVE XR Suite and help business users in ways they can’t imagine yet. We are very much looking forward to working with HTC to realize the ‘Next Normal’ in the coming years.”