HTC Vive is bringing its most powerful virtual reality (VR) system, HTC Vive Pro, to the Middle East starting in May. The company confirmed that the Vive Pro’s new Head Mounted Display (HMD) will retail for AED 3,299 and is available for purchase through its Middle East e-commerce store.
“Today VR represents the convergence of technology with humanity, and that is unleashing human imagination in entirely new ways. When we step into VR, we step into a whole world which can truly change lives for the better. With more advancement systems like the Vive Pro, and together with strategic content and brand partners, we are now making the future more accessible to individual users, businesses and developers around the world,” said Raymond Pao, vice president of product & strategy and general manager of Asia at HTC Vive.
The regional launch took place during the celebration of a new strategic partnership between HTC Vive and Burj Khalifa, held at the Burj Level 112 within the global icon in Dubai, UAE. The partnership includes the Vive Pro being used in Burj Khalifa’s latest ‘Mission 828’ experience on the At the Top observation deck, with additional experiences in the works. Burj Khalifa will sell the Vive Pro HMD at its popular retail boutique located in the world’s tallest building until mid-June.
“We are elated to be showcasing the immersive power of VR to consumers and enterprises across the Middle East with the availability of the Vive Pro rolling out in the coming months. Our goal has always been to offer the most premium VR platform available, and the endorsement of such technologies by brands such as Burj Khalifa promises to make VR more accessible while expanding the potential for local developers,” said Ramit Harisinghani, vice president and head of Middle East & Africa at HTC Vive.
The Vive Pro is built for VR enthusiasts and enterprise users who want the best display and audio for their virtual reality experiences. Vive Pro is a room-scale VR system that includes dual-OLED displays for a crisp picture resolution, which is a 78% increase in resolution over the current Vive HMD—initially released in 2016. In addition to visuals, the Vive Pro also features integrated, high-performance headphones with a built-in amplifier that creates a heightened sense of presence and sound through noise cancellation capabilities.
“Emaar consistently invests in the latest digital technologies to offer our visitors exceptional experiences as is underlined by Mission 828, a popular highlight of At the Top, Burj Khalifa, and a trend-setting VR experience. We are focused on strengthening our partnerships with tech leaders, to continuously enhance our innovative offerings. We will continue to push the boundaries of innovation for the leisure and entertainment industry and contribute to the city’s civic pride,” said Ahmad Al Falasi, executive director – group operations at Emaar Properties.
Burj Khalifa launched Mission 828, which simulates the experience of scaling the building’s 828 metres to the top of the spire – the highest point of the global icon. The VR attraction gives visitors the opportunity to have the virtual experience of scaling to the pinnacle of the tower before taking a parachute-jump right down to The Dubai Fountain. Mission 828 can be experienced through six VR pods at Level 125 and another at Level 124. As part of the partnership with HTC, L125 will also be the exclusive venue that will showcase the HTC Vive Pro technology in the Middle East in the coming weeks.
Overall, total spend on AR and VR products across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) is forecasted to reach USD 3 billion in 2018 alone, according to IDC, over double the amount spent in 2017 .