HTC to hold Vive developer conference in Taipei

Taipei--Taiwan-based HTC Corp. (???), which has been reaching beyond its core smartphone business into virtual reality, has scheduled a developer conference in Taiwan in March for its first VR headset the HTC Vive.

HTC has held similar Vive developer conferences in Seattle, Beijing, Shenzhen and Shanghai, but this one will be its first in Taiwan.

The "Vive Developer Meetup @ Taipei 2017" will be held March 9 at HTC headquarters in Taipei to facilitate discussions among developers on VR technology development and market conditions.

The Taipei conference is expected to boost innovation in the VR industry, help HTC nurture its VR development team and enhance the development of VR ecology, the company said.

Raymond Pao (???), vice president of HTC's VR New Technology operations, said 2017 will be the year to strengthen content for the global VR industry, which will expand the use of the hardware.

With more content, VR technology will have a wider range of applications such as entertainment, gaming, education, retail, medical care services, engineering and business administration, Pao said.

He said that expanding applications will create business opportunities as well as challenges for VR developers.

In a recent research report, the Topology Research Institute said that Japan's Sony Corp., California-based Oculus VR and HTC were expected to continue to dominate the global virtual reality headset market in 2017.

According to the institute, Sony's PlayStation VR is expected to rank as the bestselling VR headset in the world this year with projected shipments of 2.5 million units, while the Oculus VR is expected to ship 1.2 million units, and the HTC Vive 600,000.

The HTC Vive was unveiled in 2015 as one of HTC's gambits to diversify from its core smartphone market in the hope of generating a new revenue stream to turn around its money-losing business.

So far, the Vive has accounted for only a small fraction of HTC's sales. HTC posted a loss per share of NT$12.81 in 2016, the second biggest loss in the company's history after its NT$18.79 in loss per share in 2015.

However, the company has high hopes for the future of its Vive and is planning to to launch a mobile VR device as a follow-up to its headset, according to local media reports.

The mobile VR device will be compatible with HTC's latest flagship smartphone the U Ultra, the reports said.

Meanwhile, HTC said that it will hold a job fair at National Taiwan University in Taipei on March 5 to recruit 300 employees this year in the fields of product design, art design, research and development, engineering, business management, marketing and e-commerce in smartphone and VR development.

At the job fair, HTC said, it will hold a small exhibition of its new products to show potential job applicants what the company is doing in terms of innovation.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel