Huawei’s VR ambitions seem to be materializing in the form of a bonafide mobile VR headset, as a recent FCC filing has revealed the existence of a VR controller featuring a design that ought to raise a few eyebrows.
We got a chance to go hands on with a Huawei mobile VR headset earlier this year at CES. The headset we tried proved to be very similar in design to Gear VR, which accepted both Huawei Mate 9 Pro or Porsche Design Mate 9 smartphones but ran Google’s Daydream platform. It’s uncertain if the company is still running with that design though, as they’ve remained mum on any further development since we saw it last.
The new controller, detailed in a recent FCC filing, doesn’t conform to the current Daydream design however. It features an additional trigger, suggesting it may not fit into the first generation Daydream platform after all.
As first reported by Digital Trends, Huawei is calling the Bluetooth controller a ‘Virtual Reality Handle’, a naming scheme that doesn’t fit in any existent mobile VR platform. Even though the filing lists a user manual, there’s still too little information at this time to say exactly where the company’s intentions lie, whether it be hooking into the Daydream ecosystem or relying on a competing mobile VR store for content.
Both the current Gear VR and HTC’s upcoming Vive Focus standalone headset—which isn’t leaving China with Daydream support as previously planned—feature a similar trigger + touchpad design.
The filing also included a short user manual, stating the Bluetooth device contains a touchpad, trigger, volume rocker, return key, and home button. Interestingly, the document specified the ability to answer or reject phone calls while in VR—something Daydream headsets still can’t manage.
While it’s still to early to say which way the company’s mobile VR headset is headed, one thing is for sure—VR has attracted another major manufacturer, and as the saying goes: competition breeds excellence.
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