VR titles like Beat Saber and Fit XR can get you sweating like from a real workout and have become an attractive alternative to physical gyms during the pandemic. So it might not come as a surprise if a VR headset manufacturer were to release a fitness-focused headset. After images of the so-called HTC VIVE Air appeared on the World Design Guide website for winning a design award, several outlets reported it as a "leak" for an unannounced VR headset from HTC. Some further speculated that it would likely be officially revealed by the company during ViveCon 2021 held between May 11th-12th.
The World Design Guide awards entry for the HTC VIVE Air has a launch window of 2021 and reads the following:
VIVE Air VR headset is specially designed for virtual fitness, optimized for high intensity with long use. Inspired by sports shoes, the new headset introduces knitted materials to VR to provide unprecedented comfort and fit. The breathable and quick-drying fabrics improve ventilation in the heated exercise. The innovative lightweight structure allows users to forget the presence of the head-mounted display to focus on virtual content. The quick-release design allows the removal of ergonomic soft components for washing.
However, speaking to Engadget after those "leak" reports, an HTC spokesperson clarified that the design is "only a concept" whose elements might be reflected in their future products:
It's exciting to see our concept piece, the VIVE Air VR headset, win an iF Design Award. While this is only a concept, the design language has elements and inspirations you'll see elsewhere in our products. We're not ones to rest on our laurels, so although it's great to win this award, we have business to attend to - hopefully we'll see you on 11/12 May at VIVECON.
While it's only a concept, would you like to see a VR headset designed for fitness purposes?