HTC heads up group investing $10 billion in virtual reality

vr htc vc fund vive htcvivehq
ZhugeEX/Twitter
When Razer announced its $5 million developer fund for indie virtual reality developers, we were rather excited about the potential of this investment to help drive the production of new VR games and experiences. But as it turns out, that was merely a drop in the bucket, though, as HTC has just announced a new VR development fund driven by a number of companies, with a total of $10 billion in available capital.

On top of splitting off its VR business into its own, separate Vive company, the Taiwanese phone maker has helped create a new fund, known as the Virtual Reality Venture Capital Alliance. It features 28 different VC firms, all planning to invest huge sums of money in the development of new virtual reality hardware and software (thanks CNet).

Apple and Intel backer Sequoia Capital is a major contributor, alongside the likes of Matrix Partners and 500 Startups. Together they and the other members have pledged to invest as much as $10 billion in virtual reality, something that will be very welcome for anyone concerned that VR may not receive the support this chicken/egg industry may need.

HTC itself pledged more than $100 million to help develop the VR industry in the past, though many have highlighted its falling smartphone industry relevance as a sign that HTC could struggle to meet such obligations in the future. However, now that it has spun off its Vive business and VR itself has received such strong backing, there is greater assurance that the Vive headset will be supported in the future.

That’s great news for those who bought the room-scale VR headset too. We named it our favorite VR headset when we tested it earlier this year and it has proven impressively popular, despite Oculus VR having a big lead and backing from Facebook’s vast coffers.

Although there are many other companies investing in virtual reality, none have been quite as forthright as HTC. Companies like Valve have declared their backing for a number of developers, only to become embroiled in concerns that it too may lock games to exclusivity contracts as Oculus has been doing.

Virtual Reality

How one fan revived the hair-raising terror of Alien: Isolation VR with a mod

Playing Alien: Isolation's virtual reality mode on modern headsets shouldn't be possible, but one enterprising modder has made it so with MotherVR, a simple and effective mod that makes it playable once again.
Cars

The VR goggles you wear to shoot alien ships is helping Magna design car parts

Canadian automotive supplier Magna has started using virtual reality in its research and development department. The technology helps engineers get a better view of what they're working on, whether it's an interior part or a powertrain.
Smart Home

Oh, Zuck, no! Facebook rumored to be creating a voice assistant to rival Alexa

Facebook hasn't been a big player in the smart speaker market, but that may be changing: The social media giant is reportedly working on a digital assistant to compete against Alexa and others.
Cars

The Audi AI:me concept shows how a self-driving city car can fight boredom

Audi unveiled a concept named AI:me at the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show. It explores what an electric, autonomous, connected city car could be. It fights boredom with an on-board VR set while taking Audi's tech-savvy interiors to new heights.
Outdoors

Lyft pulls thousands of ebikes from three U.S. cities over safety issue

A brake problem affecting 3,000 electric bikes operated by Lyft-owned Citi Bike, Capital Bikeshare, and Ford GoBike has prompted the company to take the two-wheelers out of service until the issue is resolved.
Virtual Reality

Magic Leap One AR headset will be available starting April 1 -- at a high price

The Magic Leap One AR headset is now available for a rather hefty price. Here's everything you need to know about the device, including the price, where it can be purchased, the hardware powering Magic Leap's goggles, and more.
Emerging Tech

Nonny de la Peña wants to put virtual reality within Reach

Telling a story in VR can sometimes pack a punch regular films can’t. As a pioneer in immersive journalism, Nonny de la Peña wants to open that experience to everyone with her Reach platform.
Virtual Reality

Valve Index VR headset revealed, more info coming in May

The Valve Index was teased, confirming rumors that the gaming company is working on its own virtual reality headset. More information about the Valve Index will be coming in May, which could also be the device's release date.
Gaming

Valve may have accidentally leaked the ship date for its VR headset

Due to a mishap, we may have learned that this year will be the summer of Index. Valve published three Index store pages early and, while they featured mostly placeholder text, they revealed the 2019 ship date for the VR headset.
Gaming

Take a trip to a new virtual world with one of these awesome HTC Vive games

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.
Gaming

Immerse yourself in a new universe with these incredible PSVR games

The PSVR has surpassed expectations and along with it comes an incredible catalog of games. There's plenty of amazing experiences to be had so we've put together a list of the best PSVR games available today.
Mobile

A Google patent hints at a new attempt at an augmented reality headset

Google may be working on another augmented reality headset. The company was awarded a patent for an augmented reality headset. Unfortunately, the patent isn't specific as to what the headset will look like.
Gaming

Nintendo is bringing the latest Zelda and Mario games to its VR headset

The Nintendo Labo VR Kit launches this month and two of the Switch's biggest games, Super Mario Odyssey and Breath of the Wild, will get free VR support via an update that goes live a couple of weeks after the VR Kit launch.
Wearables

Army uses modified Microsoft HoloLens 2 for ‘real-life game of Call of Duty’

The U.S. Army gave CNBC an exclusive look at its modified Microsoft HoloLens 2 augmented reality headset. The Integrated Visual Augmentation System, or IVAS, provides various functions for training and combat.