The whole world is changing, technology is getting more advanced and smaller, each and every day. VR is not any different — and I got the chance to get my hands on a preview version of the HTC Vive Flow: a VR that’s quite small, and focuses on both games and lifestyle uses.
When I first saw this VR in person the first thing that impressed me was the size. This is a very small, very compact VR, that can be charged with a battery pack and played using your phone. The battery life, when connected to a battery pack, is very long — which is great — and you can also connect it up to your phone and use your phone to keep the headset going.
When it comes to the HTC Vive Flow itself, the padding around the eyes is small, with different sizes that you can get to fit, which is fixed with strong magnets. It feels like this fabric can be easily cleaned, as removal is simple, but at the same time, it feels really durable and connects well.
As someone who wears glasses, I always find it a struggle to put on a VR and to use it — but the HTC Vive Flow has adjustments within the VR, using a dial, where you can adjust the lens so you do not need glasses at all. This small change has really made these glasses perfect for me, as I don’t need to struggle with glasses over my glasses and instead can just see comfortably.
Another big feature that is meant to keep things comfortable is a little vent at the top of your head, which sucks hot air out of the glasses and into the air around you, to keep you cool while you have it on your face. This makes a huge difference when it comes to use, as the glasses are much cooler this way!
The HTC Vive Flow is compact, and with that comes a sort of refocusing on what it is used for. Unlike larger VR headsets, this one is focused on smaller, less heavy games, as well as lifestyle features. You can use your HTC Vive Flow to work in a digital cafe space, explore a museum or meditate. There are games that are optimized for it, but this headset focuses on so much more. In a world where people are travelling more and are focused more on self-care, it’s good to have a VR option that works well for not only gamers but for everyday people who just want a break from their world.
I was very impressed with my time on the preview version of the HTC Vive Flow and I am very interested in seeing what more can be done with this small device. The only glaring issue I found with the headset was the way it fit on my head. They had explained that this headset was made like glasses, but with all head sizes in mind, however, I found it slipping forward on my face and not sitting well on my ears — but instead gripping to my head. I am hoping this is just a result of the safety mask that we were required to wear in the demo, but only time will tell.
Either way, I look forward to trying out the HTC Vive Flow again in the future, and seeing how this next step in technology — with a more portable VR product, moves the industry forward.