HTC Vive
The HTC Vive will soon be joined by a mobile VR headset that will work for the HTC U Ultra. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

HTC may have been successful with the Vive virtual reality headset, but now it has its eyes set on a new endeavor. The Taiwanese company has just confirmed that it will soon be releasing a VR headset that would work with its smartphones.

HTC confirmed its new mobile VR headset to CNET during the HTC U launch event in Singapore. The company says that it will work with the HTC U Ultra, but noted that it won’t be as simple as slipping in the smartphone in the headset like Samsung’s Gear VR.

“We have a good plan in terms of combining mobility with VR,” HTC’s president of global sales Chia-lin Chang said in an interview. “Vive is very top end, and in the coming months you’ll see our plans in terms of mobility and VR, and it’s not a phone slapped onto a headset.”

Although Chang didn’t specify how the new HTC mobile VR headset will work, it’s possible that it’s taking a wired approach. The upcoming device might work similarly to the LG 360 VR wherein a smartphone is connected to the headset through a USB Type-C cable, as speculated by The Verge.

The HTC Vive is an impressive achievement for the company. It’s been lauded by many as being more advanced than any of its competitors like the Oculus Rift. However, like most of its rivals, the device is quite pricey at $799 and it requires a high-powered PC in order to run smoothly.

This is why a lot of manufacturers have offered up more affordable mobile VR headsets that work on smartphones. Samsung’s Gear VR headset for example only costs $99 and works on the Galaxy S6, Galaxy Note 5 and the Galaxy S7.

Google also entered the game in 2016 by baking its own VR software right in Android Nougat with Daydream VR. The company then released the Daydream View VR headset which costs $79 and is compatible with the Pixel phones, the ZTE Axon 7 and the Motorola Moto Z.

HTC’s newfound focus on virtual reality comes at a time when the company continues to struggle with its main smartphone business. It seems as though HTC wants to turn things around by being at the forefront of VR technology.