[Update] HTC 'Vive Air' leak reveals fitness-focused VR headset — watch out Quest 2!

HTC Vive Air
(Image credit: IF World Design Guide)

Update on April 21: HTC has confirmed to UploadVR the Vive Air VR headset is currently a concept and is not in development. An HTC spokesperson stated the iF Design Award was only given to the concept piece. However, the spokesperson claimed the "design language" of the Vive Air has elements and inspirations "you'll see elsewhere." There will be more to come on either May 11 or 12 at VIVECON 2021. What follows is the original story.

HTC has been teasing a new VR headset after launching face trackers, but a new leak gives us a first look at its new "Vive Air." It is specifically designed for virtual fitness fans.

The iF Design Awards 2021 revealed a fitness-focused VR headset from HTC, and it's expected to launch sometime in 2021. According to the page, the headset will be available in Asia, Europe and North America. 

HTC Vive Air

(Image credit: IF World Design Guide)

HTC Vive Air: What we know

The HTC Vive Air is all about fitness, with the leak indicating that the design of the new VR headset has been inspired by "sports shoes." It was made to be used for long periods of time, using knitted materials for comfort when sweating it out in VR.

The new headset has been "optimized for high intensity" workouts, designed to be lightweight so users can easily move around, and aims to improve ventilation by using breathable quick-drying fabrics.

Since it's being used for virtual fitness (think fitness apps such as Beat Saber or Creed: Rise to Glory), there's going to be a lot of sweat. HTC seems to have taken this into account by introducing a way to release the VR system from the head strap so the "soft components" can be washed. 

HTC Vive Air

(Image credit: IF World Design Guide)

While there's no mention of the device being wireless, photos indicate the Vive Air is a stand-alone wireless VR headset akin to the popular Oculus Quest 2.

There's no word if HTC will be releasing specific fitness games or additional accessories with the Vive Air, nor does the leak give a price. However, with the popularity of the Quest 2 continuing to sore at its $299 price point, we expect the new VR headset to be in the same ballpark.

The Vive Air's design doesn't match what HTC has been previously teasing on Twitter, specifically in terms of color. This suggests there may be more than one VR headset coming down the line. As always with leaks, we'll just have to wait and see until the VR company officially announces the fitness-focused headset. 

(H/T Road to VR)

Darragh Murphy

Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from washing machines designed for AirPods to the mischievous world of cyberattacks. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for gadgets into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. With a Master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from The University of Sheffield, along with short stints at Kerrang! and Exposed Magazine, Darragh started his career writing about the tech industry at Time Out Dubai and ShortList Dubai, covering everything from the latest iPhone models and Huawei laptops to massive Esports events in the Middle East. Now, he can be found proudly diving into gaming, gadgets, and letting readers know the joys of docking stations for Laptop Mag.