Thu, Aug 23, 2018 - Page 12 News List

HTC partners with Japanese artist to enliven content

By Ted Chen  /  Staff reporter

Japanese artist Miwa Komatsu displays her virtual-reality artwork at a news conference yesterday at HTC’s VR Content Center in Taipei, as part of the company’s promotion of the development and application of interactive art.

Photo: CNA

HTC Corp (宏達電) yesterday announced a collaboration with Japanese painter Miwa Komatsu as the smartphone maker continues to invest in content and intellectual property (IP) to shore up its transition into the virtual-reality (VR) industry.

The company, which has invested in the film industry, is developing a series of VR titles for its Vive ecosystem in a year-long partnership with Komatsu to broaden the scope of VR applications beyond gaming, HTC said.

Liu Szu-ming (劉思銘), vice president of HTC’s VR Content Center, said that the company is aiming to bring the IP business model to the arts and create an array of products from Komatsu’s works.

Komatsu next year is to visit HTC’s Taipei headquarters to create artworks, during which she and her work would be recorded to create content for Vive users, Liu said.

Vive users would be able to relive the creation of the painting as if they were standing next to Komatsu, as well as examine her works up close in VR, Liu said.

The company has not ruled out bringing Komatsu’s VR works to HTC’s smartphones, he said.

The company on Tuesday also announced the launch of a wireless module for Vive and Vive Pro, which allows users to untether their VR headsets from the PC.

Preorders are to begin on Sept. 5, with suggested retail prices starting at US$299.99, which include a two-month subscription to HTC’s Viveport app store.

HTC slid back into the red last quarter, with a net loss of NT$2.09 billion (US$68.01 million), or losses per share of NT$2.53.

That followed a net profit of NT$21.2 billion in the first quarter due to a US$1.1 billion windfall from the sale of its smartphone development unit to Google.

Sales last quarter plummeted 58.03 percent annually to NT$6.77 billion.

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