There are some tech companies that keep a secret well, and have dazzled and surprised us with something that no one saw coming. Apple have almost perfected the manoeuvre, and Samsung gave it a good crack with the Gear 360 at MWC 2016 this year. Other companies do it less well, and leaks tend to ruin things … but then out of the park comes Huawei with a VR headset that no one saw coming.
Not long after the launch of the Huawei P9 and Huawei P9 Plus, this device snuck its way on to Huawei’s social pages this week, and while the phone support is a little limited (basically it supports the P9 range and last year’s Mate 8), there are a few defining features, despite the visual similarity to something else.
First, there’s no plans to take this outside China at this stage. This is a little telling, because others (e.g. Samsung’s Gear VR, Google’s Cardboard, and LG’s unreleased 360 VR) will be available much more widely.
Secondly, there appears to be a heap of content to launch alongside the VR headset from Huawei. There’s 4,000 free movies being promoted, as well as 40 free games, and more than 500 panoramic images and virtual tours for users to enjoy.
A third twist, and something quite cool, is the promise of 360º full spatial sound. There’s not a lot of detail around what this means in Huawei’s marketing speak, or how it’s different from what Samsung’s Gear VR can do, but we look forward to being impressed.
We don’t know an awful lot more, yet, but with an Asia Pacific launch of the Huawei P9 scheduled to take place early next month, we might see a bit more then!